Lewis Hastings Sarett
Born Dec 22 1917 - Died Nov 28 1999
Process of Treating Pregnene Compounds
Patent Number(s) 2,462,133
Chemist Lewis Hastings Sarett prepared a synthetic version of the hormone cortisone, which was soon demonstrated as an effective treatment against rheumatoid arthritis. Sarett prepared the first synthetic cortisone in 1944, when Merck & Co. was a participant in a government effort to improve military medicine. Four years later the Mayo Clinic demonstrated the efficacy of the product against rheumatoid arthritis.
In 1949, Sarett and several collaborators initiated an alternative synthesis commencing with raw materials derivable from coal, air, lime, and water. This led to the first route independent of naturally occurring starting materials.
Cortisone is a natural steroid produced by the adrenal gland and released when your body is stressed. But this is limiting for many reasons. Natural cortisone release is not precise, can not be depended on for many of the modern uses of cortisone, and it is short lived. Synthetic cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug which can be re-applied, tracked for progress, and lasts longer. Synthetic cortisone is also injected into the inflamed area and is not released into the bloodstream.
Cortisone is used for a variety of ailments today from endocrine and rheumatic disorders to collagen and gastrointestinal diseases. Cortisone also is used in organ transplants because it minimizes the defense reaction of the body towards foreign proteins. This allows the foreign organ to be transplanted in the new body while not damaging the organ.