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Penicillin: A Paradigm for Biotechnology

Dr. Artem Evdokimov eudokima at mail.ncifcrf.gov
Sat May 19 19:45:26 EST 2001


At that time, the British (rightfully) considered that patenting
discoveries directly related to medicine is unethical. I wish this point
of view was more widespread ...

A.

Frank Martin wrote:
> 
> EXACTLY! The Merck company in the USA pioneered the submerged-fermentation
> process based on the new strain so making penicillin a practical drug.
> It's all in the Florey biography. Inventors and developers seem to be
> different species. That uppity little Scot didn't follow up his discovery,
> and it was pure chance that Florey took the development up as a research
> project. The WWII forced the English to seek American help for large scale
> development.
> 
> "Gordon Couger" <gcouger at REMOVE.provalue.net> wrote in message
> news:AEqN6.437$9x.14773 at www.newsranger.com...
> | In article <3B053C9D.674736A3 at hate.spam.net>, Uncle Al says...
> | >
> | >"R. I. Mateles" wrote:
> | >>
> | >> Penicillin: A Paradigm for Biotechnology
> | >> Richard I. Mateles, Editor
> | >[snip]
> | >
> | >The first large scale production of penicillin was done in a
> | >remarkably large number of British bedpans.  When they finally went to
> | >submerged culture in vats the quintessential breakthrough in
> | >controlled addition of phenylacetic acid to make penicllin-G without
> | >killing the mold was made by a janitor tired of smelling cat piss
> | >(phenylacetic acid) everywhere.
> | >
> | >
> | That janitor worked for the USDA if I remember right. The Brits couldn't
> get
> | very much production and brought it over to the USDA for help. If I
> remember the
> | story right the biggest single improvement was getting a new strain from
> a
> | cantaloupe in the trash.
> |
> | Gordon
> |
> | Gordon Couger
> | Stillwater OK

-- 
|Dr. Artem Evdokimov   Protein Engineering |
| NCI-Frederick        Tel. (301)846-5401  |
|              FAX (301)846-7148           |
|        eudokima at mail.ncifcrf.gov         |
|      http://www.ncifcrf.gov/plague       |




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