Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences has named one US and two Japanese scientists as winners of the 2009 Crafoord Prize for discoveries that improved treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and similar conditions.
American scientist Charles Dinarello and Japan's Tadamitsu Kishimoto and Toshio Hirano shared the $500,000 prize for new discoveries about the human immune system. The academy said their discoveries paved the way for drugs to help treat the conditions. Dinarello is based in Denver, Colorado. Kishimoto and Hirano both live in Osaka, Japan.
The Crafoord award has been given annually since 1982 for different scientific research areas not covered by the better-known Nobel Prizes.