By Jie Jack Li

Blockbuster drugs-each of which generates greater than one billion funds a 12 months in revenue-have revolutionized the because the early Nineteen Eighties, whilst revenues of Tagamet by myself reworked a minor Philadelphia-based company into the world's ninth-largest pharmaceutical corporation. In Blockbuster medications, Jie Jack Li tells the interesting tales at the back of the invention and improvement of those hugely profitable medications, whereas additionally exploring the tumult the now faces because the "patent cliff" nears.

Having spent so much of his profession in drug learn and improvement, Li brings an insider's eye to the narrative as he recounts the stories of discovery in the back of such medicinal drugs as Tagamet, Zantac, Claritin, Prilosec, Nexium, Serouquel, Plavix, and Ambien. As he discusses each one step forward, Li additionally indicates that medical learn is stuffed with human drama-serendipitous discoveries, unexpected insights, annoying confrontations. for example, the writer tells of James Black, who continued within the learn that ended in Tagamet-and that might eventually win him a Nobel Prize-despite strain from most sensible executives to pursue "more ecocnomic" paintings. The ebook exhibits how learn in the back of Prilosec mixed creativity, foreign cooperation, and luck-the turning aspect being an opportunity stumble upon of yankee and Swedish scientists at a convention in Uppsala. There also are stories of terrific rewards—George Rieveschl, the chemist who invented Benadryl, made a fortune on royalties-and of unjust truffles. eventually, Li indicates that for the world's greatest prescription drug brands, contemporary years were harrowing, as many well known medications have come off patent within the U.S. industry, that means countless numbers of billions of bucks in misplaced profit.

Anyone who enjoys stories of clinical discovery, or is involved in the historical past in the back of the prescriptions they take, or wishes a revealing within examine the pharmaceutical will locate this ebook worth studying.

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Today, most, if not all, drug discovery programs target a molecular target such as an enzyme or a receptor. This contemporary approach is obviously not perfect either. While we may know how a drug interacts with the target, the results may not always translate into whole cells and the whole body. This is the reason why biomarkers have 48 | B L O C K B U S T E R D R U G S become such useful tools in predicting the efficacy and safety of drugs discovered using rational drug design. 10 The team, led by veterinary pharmacologist Sven Erik Sjöstrand, consisted of zoo physiologist Gunhild Sundell; a brilliant medicinal chemist, Ulf Junggren; and five technicians.

In June 1964, following discussions with Black, Paget formally proposed that SK&F should invest in the discovery of a new type of histamine antagonist. He stated: “None of the known antihistamines are effective antagonists of histamine-stimulated gastric secretion . . ”9 Meanwhile, a team at the SK&F headquarters in Philadelphia, led by Virgil D. Wiebelhaus and under the guidance of Peter Ridley, was testing for anti-ulcer compounds by inducing ulcers in rat stomachs in vivo and looking to see whether a previously injected compound would protect them.

They began the Tagamet development program in 1964, and 20 years later, there was not a second-generation compound past the advanced clinical stage B egi nni ng of a n Era : Ta g a m e t | 3 9 (Phase III). There was initially a backup compound called oxmetidine, but it was pulled out of development three months prior to marketing because of questionable reports of liver toxicity in South Africa. Several other compounds in development failed as well during late stages of safety assessments. The culture of the company did not seem to encourage innovation anyway, because soon after the launch of Tagamet, all key players involved in its development began to leave SK&F.

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