Ruth F. Nutt, a peptide chemist and former senior scientist at Merck & Co. Inc., Rahway, N.J., has joined Corvas International Inc. in San Diego as director of chemistry. In 31 years at Merck, Nutt, 53, was responsible for the development of five major drug candidates, including one now in clinical trials. In addition, she was on the first team to chemically synthesize an enzyme and led the team that first synthesized the HIV protease, preceding recombinant production of the enzyme by about a year.

Much of Nutt's work at Merck involved antithrombosis and antiinflammatory research. Among the drug candidates she developed is an anticlotting drug, GPIIb/IIIa antagonist, now in clinical trials. In her newly created post at Corvas, she will help develop the new company's drug leads in those areas. She took early retirement from Merck to join Corvas, she says, because "I felt I could use some of...

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