Researchers at Penn Medicine have gone through some great pains to find the first potential new class of novel anesthetics since the 1970s. Starting with a pool of over 350,000 compounds, they have isolated two compounds with the potential to be developed into new, safer general anesthetics.
Roderic G. Eckenhoff, MD leads the team of researchers, and is vice chair for Research and the Austin Lamont Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
According to the team of scientists, most new anesthetics are developed by altering and improving existing anesthetics. For example, Propfol, the most commonly used anesthetic in the world since its development in the 1970’s, was originally developed in the UK and but later removed from circulation due to deleterious side effects. It was later improved, however, and is still in use today as a potent anesthetic.