John O. Link received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from EJ Corey’s lab at Harvard University (Corey-Link Reaction). At Syntex/Roche he elucidated the inhibition mechanism of the immunosuppressant drug CellCept®, along with the enzymatic mechanism of its target IMP dehydrogenase. At Arris/Celera he was co-inventor of several covalent-reversable serine and cysteine protease inhibitors that entered clinical trials from his group.
As Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry at Gilead Sciences, John was co-inventor of four approved drugs discovered in his research group: the curative hepatitis C drugs ledipasvir (NS5A inhibitor), velpatasvir (pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor), and voxilaprevir (pan-genotypic NS3/4A protease inhibitor), components in Harvoni®, Epclusa® and Vosevi®, and the first-in-class twice-yearly dosed HIV capsid inhibitor lenacapavir (Sunlenca®) which represents the advent of a new therapeutic modality as the only approved drug that targets a viral capsid. John was research and Phase 1 development project leader for the ledipasvir and velpatasvir programs and research project leader for the lenacapavir program.
John was awarded the American Chemical Society’s 2015 Heroes of Chemistry for his contributions to the discovery of Harvoni® and the 2017 inaugural Male Ally Award from the Women at Gilead employee resource group.