Syntex Corporation (Louis Pasteur Vignette)
Syntex Corporation (Louis Pasteur Vignette)
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Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Syntex Corporation dating back to the 1960's. This document, which carries the printed signatures of the company President and Assistant Treasurer, was a printed by the Security-Columbian Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).
This certificate's vignette features Louis Pasteur.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
Syntex was formed in Mexico City in 1944 by Russell Marker to manufacture therapeutic steroids from the Mexican yams called cabeza de negro (Dioscorea mexicana) and Barbasco (Dioscorea composita). The demand for barbasco by Syntex initiated the Mexican barbasco trade.
Luis E. Miramontes, George Rosenkranz and Carl Djerassi synthesis of norethindrone, later proven to be an effective pregnancy inhibitor, led to an infusion of capital in Syntex and Mexican steroid pharma industry. George Rosenkranz and Carl Djerassi then went on to synthesizing cortisone from diosgenin, the same phytosteroid contained in Mexican yams used to synthesize progesterone and norethindrone. The synthesis was more economical than the previous Merck & Co. synthesis, which started with bile acids.
Syntex was acquired by the Roche group in 1994.
- Russell Marker co-founded the company in 1944. In May 1945, realizing that he was being left out of the company's profits, he left the company. When he took his notebooks, the production was hampered because Marker had done the synthesis himself and had coded the reagent bottles.
- George Rosenkranz had studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and was conducting pharmaceutical research in Cuba. He joined Syntex in 1945 to replace Marker. He hired Djerassi in 1949.
- Carl Djerassi went to work at Syntex in 1949 as the associate director of chemical research. He remained there through 1951, leaving to join the faculty of the Chemistry Department at Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan) starting in 1952.
- Alejandro Zaffaroni developed procedures for identifying and separating steroids using paper chromatography while studying at the University of Rochester, and joined Syntex as a research biochemist in 1951. He became vice-president in 1956, and was appointed president of Syntex's U.S. subsidiary in Palo Alto, California in 1962.
- Luis E. Miramontes moved from UNAM to Syntex in 1950 as a researcher under Djerassi. Under the direction of Djerassi and Rosenkranz, he performed the last step of the first synthesis of an orally highly active progestin on 15 October 1951. The semi-synthetic steroid, norethistrone (19-Nor-17-alpha-ethynyltestosterone), was the first orally highly active progestin, which led to the development of the first oral contraceptive pills.
- Albert Bowers joined Syntex, in 1956 as research group leader; went on to publish more than 90 scientific papers on steroid research and originated more than 120 U.S. patents. Bowers became president of Syntex in 1976, was chief executive officer from 1980 to 1989 and had served as chairman of the board, 1981-1990.
- Jerzy Rzedowski worked as an explorer botanist. He later became the most prominent plant scientist in Mexico.
- Ralph Dorfman Joined the company as a consultant in 1960, eventually serving as President of Syntex Research from 1967–1973
Birth Control Pill
Syntex submitted its compound to a laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, for biological evaluation, and found it was the most active, orally-effective progestational hormone of its time. Syntex submitted a patent application in November 1951. In August 1953, G.D. Searle & Co. filed for a patent for the synthesis of the double-bond isomer 13 of norethindrone called noretynodrel. Noretynodrel is converted into norethisterone under acidic conditions, such as those in the human stomach, and the new patent did not infringe on the Syntex patent. Searle obtained approval to market noretynodrel before Syntex received its approval. By 1964 three companies, including Syntex, G.D. Searle, and Johnson & Johnson under the Ortho Pharmaceutical brand, were marketing 2-mg doses of the Syntex norethindrone.
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