It was isolated from the mold Penicillium citrinum by Akira Endo in the 1970s, and he identified it as a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, i.e., a statin. Mevastatin might be considered the first statin drug; clinical trials on mevastatin were performed in the late 1970s in Japan, but it was never marketed. The first statin drug available to the general public was lovastatin.
A British group isolated the same compound from Penicillium brevicompactum, named it compactin, and published their results in 1976. The British group mentions antifungal properties with no mention of HMG-CoA reductase inhibition.
|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
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