The book review of "Triumph of the Heart" by John Lamattina, and particularly the role of Akira Endo in finding an HMGCoA reductase inhibitor, reminds me of the story that went around some 20 to 25 years ago (C&EN, June 8, page 61).
The only difference between compactin, Endo's original isolate from fermentations, and lovastatin, the first statin approved for clinical use from Merck, is one methyl group—and a patent. And so an industry was born.
Kenneth E. Neet
North Chicago, Ill.