100 years since the publication of the suramin formula

Steverding, Dietmar and Troeberg, Linda ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0939-4651 (2024) 100 years since the publication of the suramin formula. Parasitology Research, 123. ISSN 0932-0113

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Suramin was the first drug developed using the approach of medicinal chemistry by the German Bayer company in the 1910s for the treatment of human African sleeping sickness caused by the two subspecies Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesienese. However, the drug was politically instrumentalized by the German government in the 1920s in an attempt to regain possession of its former African colonies lost after the First World War. For this reason, the formula of suramin was kept secret for more than 10 years. Eventually, the French pharmacist Ernest Fourneau uncovered the chemical structure of suramin by reverse engineering and published the formula of the drug in 1924. During the Nazi period, suramin became the subject of colonial revisionism, and the development of the drug was portrayed in books and films to promote national socialist propaganda. Ever since its discovery, suramin has also been tested for bioactivity against numerous other infections and diseases. However, sleeping sickness caused by Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense is the only human disease for which treatment with suramin is currently approved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: colonial revisionism,political instrumentalization,sleeping sickness,suramin,veterinary(all),insect science,infectious diseases,parasitology,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3400
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Gastroenterology and Gut Biology
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2023 03:01
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2023 03:03
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93840
DOI: 10.1007/s00436-023-08027-7

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