Felix Hoffmann

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Felix Hoffmann
Entry on sheet no. 44 of the laboratory protocol on 10.VIII.1897

Felix Georg Otto Hoffmann (born January 21, 1868 in Ludwigsburg , † February 8, 1946 in Lausanne ) was a German chemist and pharmacist .


Hoffmann was born the son of a Ludwigsburg entrepreneur. After completing his schooling, he aspired to a classic pharmacist training from 1882 and then worked in various pharmacies in the German Empire and Switzerland until 1889. In 1889 he began to study pharmacy at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and finished it in 1890 with the pharmaceutical state examination.

In 1890, he joined them in Munich to study chemistry and was on 22 June 1893 at Eugen Bamberger with work About certain derivatives of dihydroanthracene and Dekahydrochinolins doctorate . During his subsequent work as an assistant, Hans von Pechmann and Adolf von Baeyer sent him directly to the “paint factories”. Friedr. Bayer & Co. ” in Elberfeld.

"Dr. Hoffmann has worked for several semesters in the Munich university laboratory under my direction and has proven himself to be a very hardworking, manually extremely skilled, well observing and knowledgeable chemist. I can therefore warmly recommend him. "

- Quoted by E. Bamberger

“It is with pleasure that I fulfill the wish of Dr. To issue a certificate to Hoffmann because I got to know him as a very capable young chemist. It combines, with a thoroughly reliable character, diligent scientific endeavor and practical skill to such a degree that it will no doubt show itself to be perfectly equal to all the demands that might be made of it in the paint or chemical preparation industry. I can therefore warmly recommend him for such a position. "

- Quoted by A. v. Baeyer

On April 1, 1894, he got a job as a chemist in the chemical-scientific laboratory. From 1891 Bayer had established its own pharmaceutical and chemical department (“main laboratory” in a two-story new building with 40 chemists). The head of the pharmacological laboratory founded in 1896 (with eight chemists and pharmacologists) was Heinrich Dreser from April 1, 1897 to 1914 . In his private life, Hoffmann maintained a friendly relationship with his doctoral supervisor Bamberger in Zurich.

On April 1, 1899, Hoffmann was given the management of the commercial-pharmaceutical department and from April 1, 1901 until his retirement on January 1, 1929, he received power of attorney.

On February 8, 1946, he died withdrawn and without descendants in Switzerland .


Dreser's pharmacological presentation of acetylsalicylic acid

In the research area at the “paint factories vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co. ”he worked on the development of new drugs with formaldehyde-alcohol adducts ( acetals ) as well as alkaloid, salicylic acid , guaiacol and tannin derivatives .

Since June 26, 1896, Hoffmann used the findings of CRA Wright (1874) for the "paint factories vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co. ”to produce the active ingredient diacetylmorphine from morphine with acetic anhydride . Bayer registered the heroin brand name for diacetylmorphine .

Hoffmann claims that he first carried out the synthesis of low-by-product stable acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) from salicylic acid and acetic anhydride on August 10, 1897 in Leverkusen . Following pharmaceutical testing, this substance was registered under the brand name Aspirin and marketed worldwide. In a US patent specification US644077 of August 1, 1898, he made it clear in detail that only with his method - and in contrast to the variants described by K. Kraut - the desired acetylsalicylic acid is formed in pure form. However, the actual authorship is disputed. His colleague Dr. Arthur Eichengrün claims to have planned the experimental setup, while Hoffmann was only entrusted with the execution without knowing what he was doing. However, since Eichengrün was a Jew, this was ignored and the authorship was officially assigned to Hoffmann. Walter Sneader from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow came to the conclusion in 1999 that Eichengrün was the inventor of aspirin, which Bayer denied in a press release. What is certain is that Eichengrün became head of the pharmaceutical department at Bayer AG after aspirin was approved, while Hoffmann became head of the marketing department.

In 1909, the ASS share of total US sales reached 30%. The actual process of technical acetylation with acetic anhydride was not patentable in the German Reich at that time due to a smoldering legal dispute, although this process step had already been used for other active pharmaceutical ingredients such as phenacetin (since 1888), antifebrin (since 1886) or diacetylmorphine (since 1896) . As a precautionary measure, the claims were therefore filed at the British Patent Office on December 28, 1898 in a “Letters Patent No. 27088 "registered. The patent specification GB 9123 was filed on May 1, 1899. Propionylsalicylic acid was patented by Otto Bonhoeffer using the same process .



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Carl Duisberg preferred personnel recommendations from Prof. Bamberger .
  2. Michael de Ridder , Heroin: vom Arzneimittel zum Drge, p. 38.
  3. All data such as medical / pharmacological publications or trademark registrations prove that BAYER developed the synthesis of heroin BEFORE aspirin. In 1896 many pharmaceutical companies were working on the derivatization of morphine, e.g. B. Knoll (Ludwigshafen), reaction with chloroformates, patent DE 38729 (submitted August 3, 1896).
  4. trademark register DE 31650, word-figurative mark "heroin" from May 16, 1898 (old Aktenz F 2456th); Mark deleted .
  5. Trademark register DE 36433, word and figurative mark “Aspirin” from February 1, 1899 (old file. F 2816); Intern. Registration number. IR 312632 of April 29, 1966 ( Memento of the original of March 1, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / register.dpma.de
  6. Eichengrün, Arthur: 50 years of aspirin . In: Pharmacy . No. 4 , 1949, pp. 582-584 .
  7. DER SPIEGEL: Aspirin: A Criminal Story? - DER SPIEGEL - Science. Retrieved May 12, 2020 .
  8. Walter Sneader: The discovery of aspirin: a reappraisal . In: BMJ: British Medical Journal . tape 321 , no. 7276 , December 23, 2000, ISSN  0959-8138 , p. 1591-1594 , PMID 11124191 , PMC 1119266 (free full text).
  9. ^ Bayer AG: On the lecture by Dr. Walter Sneader on the development of acetylsalicylic acid. September 28, 2007, accessed May 12, 2020 .
  10. GELSENZENTRUM Gelsenkirchen - The Jewish chemist Arthur Eichengrün - pioneer of aspirin. Retrieved May 12, 2020 .
  11. ↑ In 1897/98 the German patent office refused to grant a patent for the acylation of salicylic acid. The Bayer patent department founded in 1896, headed by Carl Duisberg, argued with the Reichsgericht about a general definition of the patentable parts of a process and only prevailed in 1899 (source: Milestones Bayer, page 118).
  12. ^ Patent GB 9123 , filed May 1, 1899.
  13. O. Bonhoeffer, Propionyl-Salicylic Acid and Process of making same, U.S. Patent 656435 , filed October 23, 1899.