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Open Access Pharmacists Adolf Schall and Ernst Ratzlaff and the synthesis of tabun-like compounds: a brief history

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The history of the synthesis of organophosphate inhibitors of cholinesterase starting with the synthesis of tetraethyl-pyrophosphate by Moschnin(e) and de Clermont and leading to the recognition about half a century later of the toxicity of the phosphor ester by Lange and von Krueger has been told in great detail previously. An almost parallel history –described originally by Bo Holmstedt – exists for organophosphonate inhibitors of cholinesterase starting with the synthesis (1898) in Rostock of diethylamido-ethoxy-phosphoryl-cyanide by the pharmacist Adolph Schall (1870–1957), a graduate student of August Michaelis (1847–1916), the re-examination of the chemical structure of the Schall compound (1903) by Michaelis, recognition (1937) of the toxicity of class by Gerhard Schrader (1903–1990) and confirmation (1951) of the structure by Bo Holmstedt (1919–2002). This short report attempts to shed some light on the life of the pharmacists and chemists involved in the synthesis of the first P-CN organophosphonate inhibitor of cholinesterase, focusing on the two less known pharmacists, the graduate students of Professor Michaelis Adolph Schall and Ernst Ratzlaff (1870–1948).

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2014

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  • Pharmazie is a leading journal in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. As a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Pharmazie is regularly indexed in the relevant databases like Web of science, Journal Citation Reports and many others. The journal is open for submissions from the whole spectrum of pharnaceutical sciences including Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Analysis, Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Biology, Clinical Pharmacy etc.
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