Norbert Bischofberger

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Norbert Bischofberger & others, "The Evolution of HIV/AIDS Therapies: A Conversation", 2012, Chemical Heritage Foundation

Dr. Norbert Bischofberger (born 10 January 1954 in Mellau, Austria) is an Austrian scientist and one of the inventors of the antiviral drug Tamiflu generically known as oseltamivir, which is, as of 2009, the only oral medication on the market to treat influenza A and B as well as the 2009 Pandemic H1N1 (swine flu), the spread of which caused an ongoing pandemic in 2009.[1] Bischofberger is currently the Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer at Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in antivirals.


Bischofberger has received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Innsbruck, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the ETH Zurich (a science and technology university in Zurich), and has done postdoctoral work at Harvard University.


He worked as part of the DNA synthesis group at Genentech from 1986–1990, before joining Gilead in 1990 as Director of Organic Chemistry.[2] In 1993, he began work, as head of a team, to create Tamiflu. In 1996, clinical studies were carried out on the drug, which was the first orally active commercially developed anti-influenza medication. Explaining the motivation behind this, he said, "We decided to create a pill and not a medication to inhale because especially people who suffer from influenza struggle with breathing difficulties. And the agent would only reach the lung,"[3] Three years later, the right to market and develop Tamiflu were sold to Roche, with Bischofberger and Gilead retaining the intellectual rights to it.[1][4]

Bischofberger has publicly displayed pessimism over the risk viruses pose, saying, "I think the threat by new bacterial or viral agents is higher than the potential of a nuclear war."[4]


  1. ^ a b Allan Hall (2009-07-27). "Inventor of Tamiflu profits from swine flu pandemic". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  2. ^ "Norbert W. Bischofberger". Forbes. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  3. ^ Thomas Hochwarter (2009-05-01). "Scientist who invented ´Tamiflu´ predicts dark times". Austrian Times. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  4. ^ a b "Blessing in disguise for Tamiflu inventor". Malay Mail. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 

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