Thomas Maren, MD, a founding father of the UF College of Medicine whose four decades of basic scientific research led to the development of a top-selling drug for glaucoma, was inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame in the fall.
Maren arrived on the UF campus in 1955 and continued working as a graduate research professor until months before his death at age 81 in 1999.
Maren gained international recognition for his pioneering investigation of an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase and its role in fluid production and flow in the eyes, brain, spinal cord and lymph system. In 1995, his years of collaborative research with scientists at Merck and Company resulted in an eye drop for glaucoma called Trusopt, which worked without many of the side effects of earlier oral medications, like fatigue, anorexia and numbness in the extremities.
“I began working on developing a drug that could be given as drops rather than by the mouth,” Maren said in an oral history interview.
“That might not sound like a very big deal, but for 25 years it was regarded as an impossibility. That dogma was that a drug of this type had to be given orally. We showed that this was incorrect, hence the success of Trusopt.”
Excerpted from UF News story. Read more about Maren and Trusopt.