Evidence is fast accumulating on the therapeutic value of one of the newest members of the prostaglandin family, epoprostenol, which was discovered in 1976.
In the United States recently to deliver a lecture, John Vane, DSc, group research director at the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, Beckenham, England, described for JAMA MEDICAL NEWS some of the clinical trials in which the compound has proved its value as an inhibitor of platelet aggregation. Vane received the Lasker Award in 1977 for his prominent role in the discovery of epoprostenol, also known as PGI2 and more commonly as prostacyclin.
Other information on epoprostenol comes from a recent conference on prostaglandins in cerebrovascular and thrombotic disorders held in Chicago under the auspices of Rush Medical College and Northwestern University Medical School.
Epoprostenol was actually discovered by Vane and Salvador Moncada during their search for thromboxane, the prostaglandin that promotes aggregation of platelets, in the endothelium