Peter Dunn and Albert WoodAccording to the British Press (but not exactly according to Pfizer or others involved), Peter Dunn and Albert Wood both of Kent, England are named as the inventors of the process by which Viagra was created. Their names appeared on an application by Pfizer to patent (WOWO9849166A1) the manufacturing process of Viagra or Sildenafil Citrate.
Peter Dunn and Albert Wood are both employees of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals at the Pfizer run research laboratories in Kent and employees are not allowed to discuss their status or non-status as inventors. "I can't say anything, you'll have to talk to the press office..." - Albert Wood
Bell, Brown & Terrett - Treating Heart ProblemsIn 1991, inventors Andrew Bell, Dr David Brown and Dr Nicholas Terrett (also Pfizer employees at Kent) discovered that chemical compounds belonging to the pyrazolopyrimidinone class were useful in treating heart problems such as angina. Nicholas Terrett was named in the 1991 British patent for Sildenafil (tradenamed Viagra) as a heart medicine, and some experts consider him as the father of Viagra.
Nicholas Terrett is also not allowed to discuss whether he considers himself the real inventor of Viagra as he is still a Pfizer employee. "There were three patents put forward for Viagra. Basically me and my team discovered how useful the drug might be... they (Wood and Dunn) created a way of mass producing it only" - Dr Nicholas Terrett
Increased Blood FlowBy I994, Nicholas Terrett and colleague Peter Ellis discovered during the trial studies of Sildenafil as a heart medicine that it also increased blood flow to the penis, allowing men to reverse erectile dysfunctions. The drug acts by enhancing the smooth muscle relaxant effects of nitric oxide, a chemical that is normally released in response to sexual stimulation. The smooth muscle relaxation allows increased blood flow into the penis leading to an erection when combined with something naughty.
Making the PillPeter Dunn and Albert Wood then worked on the crucial nine-step process to synthesize a Sildenafil (Viagra) compound into a pill. It was approved by the FDA on March 27, 1998, as the first pill to treat impotence.
Paper ShortagePfizer claims that hundreds of inventors were involved with the creation of Viagra and there was not enough room on the patent application to name them all, so only the department heads were listed. Dr Simon Campbell, who until recently was the Senior Vice President Of Medicinal Discovery at Pfizer and oversaw Viagra's development, is considered by the American press to be the inventor of Viagra. However, Simon Campbell would rather be remembered as the father of Amlodipine, a cardiovascular drug. "I'm like Columbus..."- Dr Simon Campbell on Viagra's development.
Steps In Making Viagra
- Methylation of 3-propylpyrazole-5-carboxylic acid ethyl ester with hot dimethyl sulfate
- Hydrolysis with aqueous NaOH to free acid
- Nitration with oleum/fuming nitric acid
- Carboxamide formation with refluxing thionyl chloride/NH4OH
- Reduction of nitro group to amino
- Acylation with 2-ethoxybenzoyl chloride
- Sulfonation to the chlorosulfonyl derivative
- Condensation with 1-methylpiperazine
molecular weight = 474.5
solubility = 3.5 mg/mL in water
Viagra & LawsuitsOne billion dollars in sales were made in Viagra's first year of production.
Many lawsuits surround Viagra and Pfizer including the suit filed for $110 million dollars on behalf of Joseph Moran, a car dealer from New Jersey, who claimed that he crashed his car into two parked cars after Viagra caused him to see blue lightning coming from his fingertips, at which point he blacked out. Joseph Moran was driving his Ford thunderbird home from a date at the time.