In 1987, lovastatin became the first statin drug (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor) to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for lowering blood cholesterol levels. It was first isolated from the fungus Aspergillus terreus in the 1970s; it is now manufactured by a fermentation process. It is no longer patent-protected, but it is still widely known by its brand name, Mevacor.
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