Born May 6, 1920 - January 13, 2004
Pregna-1,4-Dienes and Compositions Containing Same
Patent #: 3,134,718
Prior to Nobile's work, the steroid cortisone was the primary treatment for rheumatoid arthritis but had unpleasant side effects. In 1950, Nobile succeeded in using bacteria to oxidize cortisone to prednisone and hydrocortisone to prednisolone, yielding effective treatments with minimal negative reactions. Modifications of the prednisolone molecule have resulted in compounds to treat asthma, ulcerative colitis, cerebral edema caused by cancer, and skin disorders.Invention Impact
patent for the invention, medical use, and production of the steroids
prednisone and prednisolone was one of the most significant advances in
medicine during the mid-twentieth century. These highly effective
anti-inflammatory drugs have saved many lives, alleviated much
suffering, and have become indispensable in treating autoimmune diseases
like rheumatoid arthritis, Addison's disease, and lupus.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Nobile studied at the University of Southern California before earning his A.B. from the University of California at Berkeley. The discovery of prednisone and prednisolone heralded a new area of chemical synthesis, creating a multi-billion dollar industry based on the use of microbes to manufacture drugs.