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Journal Article

Journal article

Marine Pharmacology in Australia. The Roche Research Institute at Dee Why, New South Wales, 1974-81  [2010]

Rae, Ian D.;

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Hoffmann-La Roche supported the work of University of Queensland zoologist Robert Endean in the late 1960s, but the company's deepening interest in the prospect of 'drugs from the sea' led them to establish the Roche Research Institute of Marine Pharmacology (RRIMP) at Dee Why, New South Wales. It was headed by Dr Joe Baker, an Australian organic chemist who had researched marine natural products. RRIMP took advice from several influential advisers, and Baker recruited chemists, pharmacologists, microbiologists, and marine biologists. Despite the conjecture, raised in some quarters, that RRIMP was established to mute the Australian government criticism of the pricing of Roche's most famous product, Valium, I believe that the research venture was a genuine attempt to find lead compounds in organisms from Australian waters with a view to the development of new drugs. Changes in the research directions taken by Hoffmann-La Roche resulted in the closure of RRIMP in mid-1981, before any such success could be claimed for the Dee Why operation. RRIMP scientists, an elite but suddenly redundant group, secured positions in other Australian laboratories.


Australian journal of chemistry

ISSN : 0004-9425