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Absolutely Iloilo Blog 1

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Absolutely Iloilo Blog 1 Ilosone


No, I am not talking about the iMac nor the iPhone here. Rather, its what happen to you when an apple a day is no longer effective to keep the doctor away. Oops! Again, its not the apple gadget but the proverbial one. Of course, you take medications and depending on your sickness you might need an antibiotic or a dose of this and that.

Antibiotics? You want to talk to me about antibiotics? Has it been a slow news week for you? No, not really. So what about antibiotics and your so called blog Absolutely Iloilo? I can't seem to find the connection. And where does this musing will lead us into exactly? Perhaps a little explanation here and there would do.

Fair enough. Alright then. By the way, do you have allergies? No, I don't have any. I am perfectly normal. You? Not completely, I'm just allergic to some people's BS. Easy now, that ain't funny at all.

Okay, so what about all these medical mambo jumbo? Are you trying to sell me something? The answer would be, 'No, I ain't buying anything from you.' No, not at all. It is not something like that. I just discovered something today. Hmm... well, what about it? Care to share?


Well, its about one of those ho-hum days. When you are bored and you have the internet at your disposal. So, I surfed and surfed the web and read whatever caught my attention. Beside the usual tech stuff and entertainment buzz and other weird articles online, I stumbled upon a bit of medical discovery intertwined with local history. Eh?! Go on, tell me more about it.

So here it goes,

The year was 1949. Dr. Abelardo Aguilar, an Ilonggo Physician or Scientist, sent some soil samples of an antibiotic isolated from a soil that he collected in his home province of Iloilo to his employer Eli Lilly & Co.

Eli Lilly’s research team, led by J. M. McGuire, managed to isolate Erythromycin from the metabolic products of a strain of Streptomyces erythreus (designation changed to “Saccharopolyspora erythraea”) found in the samples.

Assigned by said company with code number 12559, Dr. Aguilar's discovery was among the thousands of soil samples sent for testing. A memorandum dated June 28, 1952 sent by John H. Blair, then Far East District Manager to all Eli Lilly medical service representatives announced the results of the “source of a new antibiotic.”

Eli Lilly sent a congratulatory letter to Aguilar promising to name the antibiotic “Ilosone” in honor of Iloilo province where the soil was originally collected. It was the first successful macrolide antibiotic introduced in the US in 1952. Its broad antimicrobial spectrum gave alternatives to patients showing allergic reactions to penicillin at that time. Eli Lilly filed for patent protection of the compound and U.S. patent 2,653,899 was granted in 1953. The product was launched commercially in 1952 under the brand name Ilosone.

In 1981, Nobel laureate (1965 in chemistry) and Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) Robert B. Woodward, along with a large number of members from his research group, posthumously reported the first stereocontrolled asymmetric chemical synthesis of Erythromycin A.

The antibiotic Clarithromycin was invented by scientists at the Japanese drug company Taisho Pharmaceutical in the 1970s as a result of their efforts to overcome the acid instability of Erythromycin.

And that is the history of Erythromycin as we know it, on the surface level.

Remember my question earlier about allergy? Take note, Erythromycin works the same way as penicillin only that the former has no or less allergic reaction compared to the latter. Isn't that a comforting thought to know especially if you suffer from allergic reactions specifically to antibiotics? And yes, prior to it being named as Erythromycin it was called Ilotycin. Ilotycin? In honor of the Province of Iloilo of course!


So next time you pop a pill of Erythromycin or a derivative* thereof, think about this, Iloilo might have saved your life for the nth time without you knowing it. And that is another reason to be happy and proud about, aside from being alive, of course! Thus, it wouldn't hurt to say your little 'thank yous' or 'thanks' as a sign of gratitude to Iloilo because, after all, her fertile soil is not just well-suited for agriculture but also was once a source of a wonder drug that saved millions of lives around the world up to this very day. Yes, up to this very day! Do not forget Dr. Abelardo Aguilar too; because through his sheer hard work and dedication we have Ilotycin now. Now, ain't that enough to make you a proud Genuine Ilonggo?

Río de Yloilo
November 1, 2011

*Erythromycin-derived compounds

* Mitemcinal
* Azithromycin / Zithromax / Zitromax / Sumamed
* Clarithromycin / Biaxin
* Roxithromycin / Rulid / Surlid / Roxid
* Telithromycin
* Dirithromycin / Dynabac
* Cethromycin
* Spiramycin
* Ansamycin
* Oleandomycin
* Carbomycin
* Tylocine







Iloilo : A Rich and Noble Land.

Posts : 36
Join date : 2011-06-06
Location : Iloilo


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