Marcel Janbon Discovers the Antidiabetic Effects of Sulfonylureas by Chance

Sulfonylureas, on the other hand, are effective in controlling type 2 di abetes. Marcel J. Janbon discovered the antidiabetic effects of sulfony lureas in 1942 by chance.

Sulfonylureas were discovered by the chemist Marcel Janbon and co-workers, who were studying sulfonamide antibiotics and discovered that the compound sulfonylurea induced hypoglycemia in animals.

One of the first oral drugs for type 2 diabetes that can delay the need for insulin shots was discovered by a French university pharmacologist during World War II. Marcel Janbon was trying to find an effective treatment for typhoid. When he tested a drug called sulfonylurea in animals, it caused them to behave bizarrely and sometimes to die. Curious about why this happened, Janbon investigated further and discovered the drug caused the animals' blood sugars to drop precipitously.

Quick to switch gears and see how this drug might benefit diabetics, Janbon convinced a medical colleague, August Loubatieres, to try it on his diabetic patients. The drug triggered a fall in these patients' blood sugars. Experiments by Loubatieres and others, with animals and with isolated pancreas, later revealed that the sulfonylurea stimulated pancreas cells to release insulin.