Triumph of the Heart: The Story of Statins

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Over 25 million people in the U.S. alone have benefited from statins—such drugs as Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, Pravachol, and other cholesterol-lowering medicines—in preventing stroke, heart attack, and other forms of coronary heart disease. But how did these remarkable, life-saving drugs come into being? In Triumph of the Heart, Dr. Jie Jack Li, a medicinal chemist and expert on drug discovery, tells for the first time the fascinating story of statins. Drawn from discussions with many scientists involved in the discovery and development of these drugs, the book illuminates the human side of science by revealing the role played by persistence, luck, and sudden insight that characterize major discoveries. For scientists in the drug industry, health care professionals, students of medicine, and all those intrigued by the basic human drive to explore and discover, Triumph of the Heart offers a compelling view of one of the most important drug discoveries of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In Triumph of the Heart, Jie Jack Li tells the fascinating story of statins, from the discovery and development of these drugs to their clinical application...Triumph of the Heart is recommended for those who are intrigued by the drive to explore and discover."—New England Journal of Medicine

"Trumph of the Heart provides documentation of some of the "oral history" of the story behind the story of statin development. The depiction of the champions of this important undertaking affirms their critical contributions to lowering cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide."—Journal of Clinical Investigation

"Easy to read, engaging and educational."—Paediatric Nursing

Library Journal

Statins-cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor-are often prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke if diet and lifestyle modification fail. The science and scientists behind statins are the main focus of this latest book by Li, a medicinal chemist at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Although the author aims to strike a balance between a scholarly and a popular approach, chemical terms and structures are introduced without definitions or a glossary, and little context is given for each drug mentioned. Li also discusses Viagra, Zoloft, antibiotics, and antifungals but writes that statins would become "the biggest moneymaker to date for the pharmaceutical industry: nearly $25 billion a year by 2005." Unfortunately, that statement, like a number of others, is unattributed. The book is well illustrated with images of scientists (many from postage stamps). Chapter references are mostly from scientific literature. A more readable book with a similar propharma focus, though with less attention to statins, is John L. LaMattina's Drug Truths: Dispelling the Myths About Pharma R&D. Li's book is suitable for large public libraries and academic libraries supporting chemistry or pharmacy programs. (Index not seen.)
—Martha E. Stone

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195323573
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/3/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jie Jack Li currently works at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. He was previously a medicinal chemist Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals (which was bought in 2000 and closed in 2007 by Pfizer), the birth place of Lipitor. He is the author of Laughing Gas, Viagra, and Lipitor: The Human Stories behind the Drugs We Use (OUP 2006). He lives in Connecticut.

Books by same author The Art of Drug Synthesis Doug S. Johnson, Jie Jack Li, Eds., Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ, 2007. Name Reactions for Functional Group Transformations, Jie Jack Li, Ed., Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ, 2007. Modern Organic Synthesis in the Laboratory, A Collection of Standard Experimental Procedures, Jie Jack Li, Chris Limberakis, Derek A. Pflum, Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2007. Laughing Gas, Viagra, and Lipitor, The Human Stories behind the Drugs We Use. Jie Jack Li, Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2006. Contemporary Drug Synthesis Jie Jack Li, Douglas S. Johnson, Drago D. Sliskovic, Bruce D. Roth, Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ, 2004; Chinese version, 2005. Name Reactions in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Jie Jack Li, Ed., Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ, 2004. Name Reactions, A Collection of Detailed Reaction Mechanisms, Third and Expanded Edition, Jie Jack Li, Springer: Heidelberg, Germany, 2006. Palladium in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Jie Jack Li, Gordon W. Gribble, Tetrahedron Organic Chemistry Series, Vol. 20, 2000, Pergamon/Elsevier, Vol. 26, 2006.

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Table of Contents

1. Cholesterol
2. Genesis of Statins
3. Merck's Triumph
4. Discovery of Lipitor
5. Development of Lipitor
6. To Market, To Market
7. Baycol, Crestor, and Drugs beyond Statins
8. Reflections
Trademarks of the Drugs
Bibliography and Notes

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2009

    An eyewitness account of statins R ana D

    An insightful account of statins R and D by a scientist who was there in contrast to John Lamattina's anecdotes and self promotion in his apologetic Drug Truths. Jie Jack Li is like Carl Djerassi evolving into an accomplished writer from an accomplished chemist.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014


    5'3" brown hair and eyes. 12 years old I DON'T DATE SO NO ONE ASK! I play corner back and widereciever for tackle football. Pitching and second base for baseball. Hates soccer. Very political and NO ONE can change my opinions. Live in duluth MN closest friends annasophia rinanne kaylee kiley.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    AnnaSophia Beatrice RoseArt

    Principal • Trainer • Teacher• Guardian •Looks: 5'3, blond, red eyes, scars on arms, tattoo of 'Okay? Okay.' behind right ear. • Race: Dhampir. • Age: 16 • Likes: books, blood, movies, skateboarding, etc. • Dislikes: a lot. • History: Lived in human world until I was 13 then I went to the VA. • Single •

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