Researcher offers personal reflections on the development of propofol

The prominent position that propofol occupies as an anaesthetic and sedative agent is very gratifying. It is a personal honour that my involvement for many years in the discovery, development, and introduction of propofol has been recognised with my selection to receive the prestigious 2018 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award” Glen (2019).

Abstract:

The prominent position that propofol occupies as an anaesthetic and sedative agent is very gratifying. It is a personal honour that my involvement for many years in the discovery, development, and introduction of propofol has been recognised with my selection to receive the prestigious 2018 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. It has been a privilege for me to work with so many highly skilled and enthusiastic anaesthetists, and I welcome the opportunity to present some personal reflections on my time as a veterinary anaesthetist, as a research biologist in the Anaesthetics Project Team at ICI Pharmaceuticals Division (which later became Zeneca, then merged with Astra to form AstraZeneca), and as a Clinical Scientist within the Medical Department. There I became involved in the design and management of clinical trials of propofol and the clinical validation and introduction of the first commercial target controlled infusion system. With four different formulations, three repetitions of the pharmacology and toxicology studies, and two clinical trial programmes, it was a long haul between discovery of the anaesthetic properties of 2,6-diisopropylphenol in 1973 and first commercial use of propofol in a soybean oil emulsion in 1986. Throughout this process, credit is due to the clinical anaesthetists and researchers who have defined and extended the place of propofol in clinical practice.

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Reference:

Glen, J.B. (2019) Try, try, and try again: personal reflections on the development of propofol. British Journal of Anaesthesia. April 11th. .

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