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Pfizer's work on penicillin for World War II becomes a National Historic Chemical Landmark
Date:6/12/2008

The development of deep-tank fermentation by Pfizer which enabled the mass production of penicillin for use in World War II was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in a special ceremony in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 12, 2008.

The development of deep-tank fermentation represented a turning point in modern medicine, as it enabled the mass production of penicillin during World War II and ushered in the era of antibiotics.

Thomas H. Lane, Ph.D., president-elect of the Society, presented a commemorative plaque to Jeffrey B. Kindler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer Inc. "The ACS has recognized only 61 chemical landmarks since the inception of the program in 1993," said Dr. Lane, who is Director, Global Science and Technology Outreach and Senior Research Scientist, at Dow Corning Corporation. "This makes the award to Pfizer a mark of distinction for contributions that reach far beyond the boundaries of scientific practitioners, touching many lives over many decades."

"We are proud to receive this designation, which honors the company's heritage of finding unique answers to new challenges," Mr. Kindler said. "Charles Pfizer and Company began nearly 160 years ago as a family-owned business right here in Brooklyn, and the breakthroughs recognized by this award reflect the spirit of innovation and the commitment to patients for which Pfizer is now known worldwide."

Though penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in England in 1928, he couldn't figure out a way to produce enough for medical use, and penicillin remained nothing more than a laboratory curiosity. In the late 1930s, with the onset of World War II, scientists saw potential to resurrect Fleming's work to make a germ-killing medicine to save the lives of Allied soldiers. In 1941 the U. S. and British governments issued a challenge to the American pharmaceutical industry: Develop a way to mass pro
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Contact: Charmayne Marsh
c_marsh@acs.org
202-872-4445
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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Pfizer's work on penicillin for World War II becomes a National Historic Chemical Landmark
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