From basic science to blockbuster drug: The discovery of lyrica

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(Chemical Equation Presented) The anticonvulsant drug (S)-(+)-3-isobutyl- γ-aminobutyric acid ((S)-(+)-3-isobutyl-GABA, Lyrica; see structure) was developed from a study of fundamental science, which took an unexpected course. The activity of Lyrica was found to be unrelated to the originally anticipated activation of L-glutamic acid decarboxylase and the increase in the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA; instead, it antagonizes a calcium ion channel, which inhibits the release of the excitatory neurotransmitter L-glutamate. The ultimate effect, however, is the same.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3500-3504
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number19
StatePublished - Apr 28 2008


  • Drug research
  • Epilepsy
  • Lyrica
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Pharmaceutical chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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