CAVENTOU, PELLETIER AND QUININE
|Taking their cue from Sertürner's alkaloidal experiments, two
French pharmacists, Messrs. Pierre-Joseph Pelletier and Joseph-Bienaimé
Caventou, isolated emetine from ipecacuanha in 1817; strychnine and brucine
from nux vomica in 1818; then, in their laboratory in the back of a Parisian
apothecary shop, they tackled the problem that had baffled scientists for
decades. Wresting the secrets of the Peruvian barks that were so useful
against malaria. In 1820 Caventou and Pelletier announced the methods
for separation of quinine and cinchonine from the cinchona barks; prepared
pure salts, had them tested clinically, and set up manufacturing facilities.
Many other discoveries came from their pharmacy-laboratory; high honors
were accorded them.