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Inspired by Time’s Man of the Year the AAAS journal Science used to give out an annual Molecule of the Year award. The award was renamed Breakthrough of the Year in 1996. Last December AAAS announced that for 2020 Breakthrough of the Year was “vaccines against COVID-19, developed and tested at record speed”.

The AAAS initiative has prompted other organizations to select and announce molecules of the year. We noted with interest a spirited selection by drughunter.com. They gave Small Molecule of the Year 2020 to Gilead’s GS-6207 (lenacapavir) “.. the awe-inspiring HIV capsid inhibitor published by Gilead Sciences in a 2020 issue of Nature”. GS-6207 potently disrupts the conserved HIV capsid protein with picomolar activity against all HIV-1 subtypes tested, providing a first-in-class option to treat and prevent drug-resistant HIV. Importantly, the molecule has an exceptionally low rate of clearance in humans, showing sustained plasma exposure at antivirally active levels over 6 months after a single injection of 450 mg. Wow –