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Imipramine hydrochloride, Tricyclic antidepressant

"One of the things I did was to -Geigy had developed a drug called Tofranil or Imipramine as an antidepressant. We found a metabolite where a methyl group had been removed, it's called desmethylimipramine, and it has a trade name... The drug is still used today. But I was involved in studying that drug and its metabolism.

And then I got interested in developing a drug for high blood pressure. The disease is called essential hypertension, high blood pressure of unknown origin. And at that time it was believed that an excess amount of aldosterone caused high blood pressure. And I studied these pathways that led to aldosterone formation and found a way of inhibiting this formation. There were a single step there, so we developed an inhibitor for that. It was about ready to go in the clinic, but my boss said that he decided we has spent enough time on that program, we can't wait any longer. So, that was a major factor in my deciding to leave the pharmaceutical industry. I thought- at that time it was totally run by organic chemists, synthetic chemists, who understood no biology." - Paul Greengard, Oral History


Imipramine (Tofranil), Paul Greengard, Geigy


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