The Healing Bullet. Screenplay treatment, based on fact

 

 

 

I bought a book 42 years ago, not realizing how much I had to research and read about this subject. I sincerely hope you find it as absorbing as me.

Numerals/numbers etc., are my references

The following is my treatment to build a screenplay and copyrighted. The screenplay is in progress.

There will be few links coming shortly and well worth your time seeing.

I need to edit the Italics text as they are similar.

Bacteria killed more soldiers in WW1 than all the Bullets, Shells, Land Mines and Bombs. Until the infection sets in, the cause is invisible. Then spreading rapidly, the victims died. Now the race is on to find out what it is, then how to kill off these germs.

A heavy smoking Scot Surgeon discarded the brown fungus he name’s ‘Lysozyme’ growing in a petri dish. Without realizing its potential the discovery languishes for a decade, the year 1922. His name; Alexander Fleming.

That year on the other side of the world a brilliant 21-year-old Australian medical student, the son of an English immigrant shoemaker gets a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University.

After the Nazis come to power, a brilliant German biochemist realized that being a Jew he would no longer be safe. Dr. Ernst Chain moves to England in 1933, and studies at Cambridge.

This quirk of fate has ramifications for the world no one ever dreamed of.  Fortunately, these dedicated scientists are not into dreams. They have to find the cure for these bacteria. WW2 is just around the corner. Without an answer, the death toll will be catastrophic.

This other secret war – most of which was beyond public knowledge or belief, but more deadly was also being fought.

The brilliant scientists who made it all possible and one Dr. Norman Wheatley was completely ignored. Then 800 years later this:

As Sir Henry Harris put it succinctly in 1998: “Without Fleming, no Chain or Florey; without Florey, no Heatley; without Heatley, no penicillin.”

Yet while Fleming, Florey, and Chain jointly received the Nobel prize for their work in 1945, Heatley’s contribution was not fully recognized for another 45 years. It was only in 1990 that he was awarded the unusual distinction of an honorary Doctorate of Medicine from Oxford University, the first given to a non-medic in Oxford’s 800-year history.[5]

Prof., Norman Heatley. Excerpt from Wikipedia

Eventually, Heatley and Florey traveled to the United States in 1941 because they wanted to produce about one kilogram of pure penicillin, and persuaded a laboratory in Peoria, Illinois, to develop larger scale manufacturing. In Peoria, Heatley was assigned to work with Dr. A. J. Moyer. Moyer suggested adding corn-steep liquor, a by-product of starch extraction, to the growth medium. With this and other subtle changes, such as using lactose in place of glucose, they were able to push up yields of penicillin to 20 units per ml. But their cooperation had become one-sided. Heatley noted: “Moyer had begun not telling me what he was doing.”

Florey returned to Oxford that September, but Heatley stayed on in Peoria until December; then for the next six months, he worked at Merck & Co. in Rahway, New Jersey. In July 1942 he returned to Oxford and was soon to learn why Moyer had become so secretive. When he published their research results, he omitted Heatley’s name from the paper, despite an original contract which stipulated that any publications should be jointly authored. Fifty years on, Heatley confessed that he was amused, rather than upset, by Moyer’s duplicity. Later he was to learn that financial greed had led Moyer to claim all the credit for himself. To have acknowledged Heatley’s part of the work would have made it difficult to apply for patents with himself as sole inventor, which is what he did.[1]

 

My Treatment.

The HEALING BULLET

By Ron Shears

Hundreds of thousands of Bacteria will swarm in a single drop of water. Bacteria killed more soldiers in WW1 than all the Bullets, Shells, Land Mines and Bombs. Until the infection set in, the cause was invisible. It then spread rapidly and the victims died. Now the race was on to find out what it was, then, how to kill off these germs.

A heavy smoking Scot bacteriologist discarded the brown fungus he named ‘Lysozyme’ growing in a petri dish. Without realizing its potential. The discovery languished for a decade, the year 1922. His name; Alexander Fleming.

That year on the other side of the world, a brilliant 21-year-old Australian medical student, the son of an English immigrant shoemaker got a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University.

After the Nazis came to power, a brilliant German biochemist realized being a Jew he would no longer be safe. In 1933 Dr. Ernst Chain moved to England.

This quirk of fate had ramifications for the world no one ever dreamed of. Fortunately, these dedicated scientists were not into dreams. They had to find the cure for the bacteria. WW2 was just around the corner. Without an answer, the death toll would be catastrophic.

This other secret war – most of which was beyond public knowledge or belief, but more deadly was also being fought.

ACT 1

The Australian Aborigine handed a large dried open brown leaf to the Australian scientist, “this works magic for us, it cures snake bites and wounds. You should try it.” He claimed. Resting on the leaf was a small pile of muddy brown powder. As the Aborigine left, the scientist stared at the powder and smirked. When the man had gone the scientist dropped the powder and the leaf in his rubbish bin.

When a young Surgeon served in a battlefield hospital laboratory in France during World War I, he saw how many soldiers died from infections – not their wounds. He was determined to find a cure. His name was Alexander Fleming.

Australian youths were made to feel their place is at the front in France. An 18-year old approached his parents after being handed a ‘white feather’ by women shouted at him in the street, “My husband died for the like of you mate. Get a uniform on, kill the Germans”. His parents threw every argument before Howard Florey. His father fell gravely ill and died.

Florey dated a female medical student who became the central figure in his life. Mary Reed is confident without pretenses. 2

In 1922 the same youth paid his way from Australia as the ship’s Doctor arrived at Oxford University. Here, Rhodes Scholar Florey knew this was where he wanted to be. A fire smoldered within him. He knew this was the setting for the hidden powers. He felt he will never return to live in Australia again.

The same year whilst he researched in London – Fleming sneezed on an exposed plate under a microscope. Later he noticed a mold had developed, and the bacteria around it had gone. Further tests showed the fluid in which the mold grew is antibacterial. 33

Eventually, this Scot bacteriologist discarded the brown fungus growing in a petri dish. He named it ‘lysozyme’. Not realizing its potential, Fleming saw problems once certain bacteria developed immunity to the drug. This discovery languished for a decade. It was crude penicillin. He sent cultures of the penicillin-producing strain to many laboratories, including Oxford. Years later this provided the starting point.

Florey struggled to merge into the unfamiliar University life. But his ‘scout’ a personal servant guided him through its peculiar customs and traditions. Eventually, he relished the centuries old gracious surroundings, dinner in the old hall with a beer in tankards. Apart from the occasional nodding acquaintance, he felt isolated. Generally, he drank beer or wine alone. Eventually, Florey became a friend of an easy-going Rhodes Scholar from America – Chubby John Fullerton. Another American Robert Webb joined them, followed by another Rhodes Student two years ahead of Florey: Hugh Cairns from South Australia. Finally, a bear of a man from Australia nicknamed ‘Pansy’ were ones whose friendships lasted a lifetime. Each noted Florey called them by surname only. They referred to Florey as ‘Floss’. Other students asked, “how come we fought in France and Florey didn’t?

Unknown to Florey in nearby Magdalene College, Sir Charles Sherrington kept an eye on the Australian.

In 1933 the Nazis ceased power in Germany. A biochemist Dr. Ernst Chain left for England where he started work at Cambridge University.

Florey was convinced he can compete in the tougher arena he chooses. His first exams rapidly approached. This student with an almost photographic memory won a First and got his M.A. in Physiology.

This skilled tennis player could earn his ‘Blue’ representing the University. But his off-handed manner stopped him getting this coveted award. He spoke his mind and apologized later some times. It seemed he will never learn.

He wrote regularly to Ethel in Adelaide. They married in London on October 1926; the first members of the penicillin team in place. Ethel was ill, friend, Webb diagnosed Anaemia. Ethel recovered quickly. Insert in right place Act 2?

Unfortunately, Florey’s Rhodes grant terminated soon. He eyed a Ph.D. and applied for a fellowship at Magdalene College. Magdalene knocked him back, considered him too young at 25. Without a grant, he could not continue. He took it badly, dwelled without sleep on his financial position. His reputation an abrasive character, with a 3 rasping tongue widened. Others made allowances for this rough colonial. Florey used this as a line of attack to his advantage. With a “Take me as you find me,” attitude.

ACT 2

Florey’s feeling of isolation stopped when renowned Pathologist/Physiology Sir Charles Sherrington gave him the opportunity to work under him. Florey flourished with the first great man he had met. He sat in chairs used by Darwin, Lister, Rutherford and other great men of science.

Pushed hard by the inquisitive gray haired genius in a white coat, who when the strain showed on the young man’s face invited Florey to dinner. His lust for work was insatiable, Sherrington knew this man was destined for greatness, he told Ethel his devoted wife. “A gifted experimenter, imaginative, always detects important observations. He selects the most fruitful procedures with uncanny precision.” But Florey worked with a man whose standards no other laboratory in the world could match. Whenever Florey started another experiment. Sherrington said, “The more intelligent question you ask of Mother Nature, the more intelligible answer will be her reply.”

Then just when all seemed doomed Sherrington called in on the laboratory. “Tell me, would you be interested in taking up experimental pathology?” The term caught Florey unaware. “Science frontiers. Ideal for someone with your experience to start experimenting.” “I’ve financial difficulties.” Florey reminded him. “This is a paid studentship at Cambridge. I was asked to recommend someone. I wrote to Professor Dean and entered your name.” Dean backed this recommendation.

Florey arrived at the ancient Gonville and Caius College. Pale after 30 months of long unremitting study and work. How was the comparatively closed set at Cambridge going to react to this 26-year-old research student? A man with attitude, who doesn’t suffer fools. You either do it to your best ability or not at all, a spade is a spade, with a driven ambition to succeed that made him as many enemies as friends.

Soon Professor Dean recognized what Sherrington saw. In a laboratory, he stood head and shoulders above everyone. A year later Dean visited the Medical Research Council in London for money, ‘to keep this brilliant young pathologist here at Cambridge. We badly need him’.

A Rockefeller Foundation grant took him to Pennsylvania State College for a year. As he left; Dr. Newton Richards described him as ‘that rough colonial genius’. Richards called on him in WW2, when thousands of US soldiers are dying from infections in the Pacific war zone.

Back at Cambridge Florey pursued a wide investigation field. Mary wanted postgraduate work. Florey was too busy to help. There was trouble between them.

Public hospital wards were full of septic cases. Frightening illnesses included Meningitis, diphtheria, scarlet and rheumatic fever. Most Septicaemia and pneumonia cases perished. 4

Florey returned to Oxford when its Pathology Professor died. Installed in the chair of Professor of Pathology in the new Sir William Dunn building. His major worry since being in England was at an end. Now his financial security is assured. A family man with a wife, daughter Paquita and Charles. He anticipated he will easily get a team together with Oxford’s reputation. See 48.

To head his biochemical section, he asked Dr. Ernst Boris Chain, who agreed after hearing about lysozyme for the first time. Chain left Cambridge. Their relationship started well until their arguments were heard all over Oxford. Eventually, they stopped arguing, thereafter communicated by writing only.

It is 1935 when an English Aviation engineer went to Germany. He returned convinced Germany was gearing for war. He set about designing Britain’s first all metal monoplane fighter, he called it the ‘Shrew ‘after its maiden flight in 1938, it was later named ‘Spitfire’. The engineer was Reginald Mitchell.

After seeking funds from Nuffield, Rockefeller, Medical Research Council. Florey accepted money was tight. His research plans were now huge.

Robert Webb – now Professor recommended the Hon. Dr. Margaret Jennings a young bright mind for special pathology work. Jennings was leaving Webb in London to follow her husband’s appointment at Oxford’s Radcliffe Infirmary.

Chain suggested a biochemist at Cambridge to complete Florey’s team was completed when Dr. Norman Heatley arrived.

Almost immediately he wrote a stern message to all section heads, ‘don’t spend a penny – ‘Research account overdrawn’. So they didn’t spend but somehow made progress with rooms full of data to be read and sifted. They discussed how to over- come some mounting problems. All antibacterial substances they extracted proved toxic to human tissue. The teams worked long hours; 5 to 6 days per week. Florey saw little of his children; they’re in bed when he got home. Polish born Miss Schoental in Chain’s lab reduced hundreds of extracts to just three. Again these were toxic. Every damn culture was the same, a dead end.

The Spitfire had flown, and as 1938 drew to a close, a war was certain, but when? Florey turned his attention to Fleming’s original work. Chain and Florey spent days reading Fleming’s brief sentences, in the majority, omitted information caused more confusion. Florey excused Fleming – a trained Surgeon, not a chemist. Florey was convinced Fleming was on the right track. So why didn’t Fleming test his extract on infected animals? Chain reasoned and believed that an extract from Raistrick’s experiments in London was possible, providing the temperature is low.

At home the Florey marriage was very strained, the cause was Ethel’s hearing. She concealed her trumpet under her curls. Florey wanted to tell her how well they’re doing. He has to shout; Ethel took offense at his characteristic bluntness. He’s tired, his short temper surfaced, guests saw Ethel’s eyes redden and fill with tears, now friends no longer call. 5

Florey cannot remember being so low in spirits. His dear wife, who he loved so much and cannot tell her, so, still there was a deep unspoken affection between them. After four years the Florey team had produced only negatives. Because of work, Florey’s forgotten about another Australian friend at Oxford. Doug Wright was direct as Florey was delighted to see him enter his lab late one night, “Penicillin is a tough nut to crack,” he told Wright. I’ve spent four years a lot of money on lysozyme and failed.” “You don’t have a problem, you’ve solved it. Now you know what you didn’t four years ago. Penicillin is your target. Remember, the only way to succeed is to double your failure rate.”

ACT 3

Unfortunately, the Florey Chain relationship remained in tatters. Two great scientists want the same  Buzzword but disagreed on how to achieve it. They still communicated, reduced by writing to each other. This strain showed on all the team.

The buzzword in the Florey’s labs was Penicillin. Chain isolated himself from Florey, burying himself under Fleming’s reports, papers, notes, knowing a link was there but where, and what was it? Days later something clicked reading many times Fleming’s 1929 paper. A mental picture exploded; we re-live the experiments reduced from several days to hours. A fluffy white mass grew rapidly. The middle turned dark green, blackened, turned vivid yellow, then reddish-brown. Given intravenously to rabbits and mice the broth was positive. The animal’ survived. The date: March 14, 1940.

Lab researcher Miss Renton showed Chain a petri dish given by Fleming to Florey’s predecessor. Chain nurtured the mold after he kept the secret for days, finally, he showed it to colleague Epstein who devised a method to grow it.

Florey spent valuable time securing funds and equipment. A begging letter dated January 1939 mentioned trigger words: pyocyanase, actinomycetin and penicillin. It worked. Florey made no comment why Chain didn’t mention this culture to him sooner.

Piles of sandbags were stacked across London streets by military convoys. The Spitfire’s manufactured. Everywhere signs of preparation. Florey’s team enjoyed the pick and shovel physical digging a hole to erect an Anderson shelter. Their laughter hid their real fears. The threat of people dying from infections spurred them on.

Dr. Heatley dropped a bombshell; he’d won the Rockefeller grant to study in Copenhagen. Florey made Heatley his personal assistant. Without money and to keep his team intact he needed only £300. Florey rowed with the Nuffield foundation again to keep Jennings experiments going. He leaned heavily again on the ever patient Mallanby. Florey’s considered an ‘academic highway robber’. Mallanby advised Florey’s his funds will be cut to install central heating. Florey’s frustration boiled over. For the first time in his life, Florey was ready to quit and devote more time to his family. Florey received £25, with a promise for more. Florey got Chain to apply for a grant under his own name. Dr. Chain got £300 plus 100 for expenses, four weeks after Florey’s application.

Germany invaded Poland. 6

Florey tackled a visiting American Scientist Dr. Miller who told him “not to bother asking for funds he’d be last on the long list. “But you guys have great biochemical work, mention this with details give it a shot.” Florey and Chain buried the hatchet. A long list of equipment, apparatus, and wages totaled £2,452. Florey emailed and forgot about it.

The war ended, Chain’s 3-week old blue-green mold grew, it spread from dish to dish, Brush-like tips dropped seeding spores into the fertile liquid, and the mold growth crept outward. Dish after dish was seeded this way, then incubated into new growth. These droplets were the first harvest. Critical questions: how much penicillin was harvested from what amount of broth? Could the broth be manipulated? To reach that point had taken months of pioneering science. Time for precision testing in an unknown field.

Nothing Florey’s team had done improved penicillin yield. Chain returned to Raistrick’s papers. They tried: yeast, malt extract, peptone, glycerol, phosphate, and more failures. How about natural foods? Sucrose, lactate, cow, horse muscle, thiogly-colic acid, sodium, ammonium salts, more oxygen, carbon dioxide manipulated. Despite weeks of tireless work nothing increased the yield. And still, Chain worked like a man possessed. A break came when he ‘milked’ the mold after 10 days by siphoning off broth, then replaced it with fresh broth; the mold can ‘feed’ again. The fungus responded brilliantly, Chain produced a second penicillin crop in two-thirds the time taken for the first. Chain repeated this ‘trick’ a dozen times. Returned versus time spent are small, later these results proved vital.

Sipping a beer during a break, someone suggested brewers’ yeast, they tried a mixture of boiled brewer’s yeast. Another break, it sped up mold growth, down to 10 days from 21. Yield remained stagnant. Work had to be accurate and fast. Chain concluded temperature the crucial link to tempt the vital dirty-brown powder molecule to ‘turn up’. If they finally understood the bacteriological and pharmacological powder’s nature? How much penicillin will it make? When enough to cover a fingernail took gallons of mold broth. Detractors included scientists circle: Heaps of money down the tubes, time wasted for a scrap of powder! It is not worth the trouble. Fortunately, Florey, Chain and the small team had faith. WW2 entered its second year people are dying from infections.

Rockefeller Foundation approved their application. It was over £9,000. Chain saw Florey’s eyes moisten, Florey turned away, wiped them dry, faced Chain. “Shall we begin Ernst? It’s the first and only time when Florey called a colleague by their Christian name.

German armored columns reached Calais, tens of thousands of wounded allied troops were evacuated from France, its May 25, 1943. That day in Oxford eight albino mice injected with bacteria, scurry about in a glass-topped cage. Four, set aside were doomed Three others were injected with a single penicillin dose plus another every two hours.

The other one was injected with half-a-single dose, observations started. Fifteen hours later the four set aside were dead. The half-shot mouse died two days later. The others survived. 7

Heatley had to find a manufacturer able to make hundreds of ceramic pots in war time. In the meantime, all Florey’s labs looked like a jumble sale with type of container, metal, glass, toilet cisterns and bedpans. Plus, a mass of pipes, tubes. Mallanby arrived to ‘sniff out’ when Florey had something concrete. Convinced Florey was onto something, Mallanby agreed to send more specialists to help. Time to test 300 Albino mice.

They discovered an agent that sought and destroyed infections anywhere in the body, but harmless to healthy tissue – Penicillin. A human patient was next. With invasion on everyone’s lips. How will Florey keep the secret? President Roosevelt was sympathetic. Many Americans couldn’t care less. ‘Democracy is dead,’ Senator Kennedy declared. If all fails Florey, Chain or Heatley had to make North America. Each rubbed a handful of spores into their clothes and pockets. The secret was in their heads. Lancet printed a paper with authors named listed alphabetically: Chain, Florey, Gardner, Heatley, Jennings, Orr-Ewing, and Saunders. The date: August 24, 1940. The Battle of Britain had started.

Fleming called on Florey and staked his claim on penicillin. Throughout his visit, he looked a great deal without any words of praise. Later he told a gathering of medical men quote, “Penicillin has not yet been tried in war surgery and it will not be tried until some chemist comes along and finds out what it is, if possible, manufactures it,” unquote. The Oxford team limited their response comment quote, “Fortunately this view, in the event was not justified” unquote. Fleming became world famous.

The void in Ethel’s life grew, she spent Christmas alone, Paquita now 10, and Charles 5 were in America. Florey worked non-stop. He needed more money, three more assistants. Then the mold stopped producing penicillin. Despite incredible difficulties the team succeeded. Mrs. Elva Akers – a lady in her forties had one or two months, cancer had spread everywhere. She agreed but unfortunately died from a toxic reaction two months later.

Ethel worked at the Radcliffe Infirmary mentioned Constable Albert Alexander was fighting for his life after a rose thorn scratched alongside his mouth, it caused a Staphylococcus aureus infection. Each time he passed Urine it was rushed to Chain to extract penicillin to be re-injected. Alexander’s recovery was remarkable considering each extraction diluted the penicillin. His fevers gone, wounds and suppurations healed. On the fifth day after injecting the last of the 4.4 grams, there’s no more penicillin. Constable Alexander died four weeks later because the dose was too small and treatment came too late. Florey proved penicillin is not toxic after five treatment days.

The question of patents was whispered in Florey’s labs. Swiss firms asked for mold samples to test, knowing the Germans will get it from them. Mass production can only be achieved in America. Chain blew his top – a background of work based on penny-pinching budgets handed to the Americans. In great secrecy, Florey and Heatley enter a New York hotel on 49th Street. A few days later he traveled to Connecticut and hugged his children. After, he sought drug companies willing to ‘make’ penicillin. He felt like a Carpetbag salesman with the reaction he received, mainly from Canadian firms. See 8

Florey met by accident Dr. A. Newton Richards, they worked briefly in 1926 in England. Richards now Committee Chairman of Office of Scientific Research and Development. Despite Drug Company Merck’s experts told Richards not to waste time on Florey’s work, Richard’s continued. The USS Destroyer Kearns was torpedoed by a German U-boat. War for America was inevitable. Richards was alone, believing Florey and Penicillin were essential and time was short. Richards was up against it, he exploded as detractors urged him not to waste time on this disagreeable Australian. “Florey was a scientist, and scientists don’t tell lies.”

On 17 December the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. Suddenly every US Drug company clamored for a place on the government sponsored program. see 153

Oddly four milk churns with filters and a pump was the world’s largest penicillin plant. The Oxford team needed a corn steep liquor. A 62-pound drum left New York dockside bound for Liverpool. Dozens of German submarine ‘Wolf packs’ waited for these loaded convoys. Yield from the liquor increased dramatically. Florey found a supplier in Scotland.

Ethel Florey worked tirelessly with clinical trials to convince doubters the wonder drug worked. Sought cases where other treatments failed. Months later Ethel had compiled a massive convincing case list. Her results were astonishing. See 168. Fleming asked for some Penicillin to cure a friend who was certain to die. The man recovered. It took all Florey’s stocks. It made Newspaper headlines ‘Miracle Recovery.’ All Credit to Professor Alexander Fleming.’ See 172

“It seems like we are out of a job. According to the press.” …..? Said.

“Really. We’ve only scratched the surface. Bacteria will fight back; they are pure intelligence.”

NOTES not in correct order

By 1928, he Fleming was investigating the properties of staphylococci. He was already well-known from his earlier work and had developed a reputation as a brilliant researcher, but quite a careless lab technician; cultures that he worked on he often forgot, and his lab, in general, was usually in chaos. After returning from a long holiday, Fleming noticed that many of his culture dishes were contaminated with a fungus and he threw the dishes in disinfectant. But on one occasion, he had to show a visitor what he had been researching, and so he retrieved some of the unsubmerged dishes that he would have otherwise discarded when he then noticed a zone around an invading fungus where the bacteria could not seem to grow. Fleming proceeded to isolate an extract from the mold, correctly identified it as being from the Penicillium family, and therefore named the agent penicillin.

1945 Chain, Fleming and Florey shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases.” That is where the usual story of penicillin stops.

The name of Dr. Norman G. Heatley (1911-2004) is rarely mentioned in this context. An Oxford University biochemist, Dr. Heatley developed a technique for isolating 9 penicillin during World War II but it only yielded minuscule amounts of the precious substance.

To make more penicillin, Dr. Heatley had to assemble- against enormous odds an apparatus from bottles, containers and hospital bedpans. Dr. Heatley’s machine worked. It separated enough penicillin to test on a human, but the limited supply ran out before the patient could fully recover.

In June 1941, Doctors. Heatley and Florey went with samples of their penicillin mold to a Department of Agriculture research laboratory in Peoria, Illinois, where, working with some of the top biologists in the US, they set in motion the research that led to large-scale production of penicillin.

“Not only did Heatley make a crucial contribution, but without him, the enterprise may not have succeeded at all,” said Sir James Gowans, a former professor of pathology at Oxford. “He was the one that came up with the key step in the isolation of penicillin.” Dr. Heatley, however, was not included in the Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine for the development of penicillin. Nobel Prizes honor great contributors but they often omit great contributors.

Since you’re here…I have to include these few essential pieces.

Prof., Norman Heatley. Excerpt from Wikipedia

Eventually, Heatley and Florey traveled to the United States in 1941 because they wanted to produce about one kilogram of pure penicillin, and persuaded a laboratory in Peoria, Illinois, to develop larger scale manufacturing. In Peoria, Heatley was assigned to work with Dr. A. J. Moyer. Moyer suggested adding corn-steep liquor, a by-product of starch extraction, to the growth medium. With this and other subtle changes, such as using lactose in place of glucose, they were able to push up yields of penicillin to 20 units per ml. But their cooperation had become one-sided. Heatley noted: “Moyer had begun not telling me what he was doing.”

Florey returned to Oxford that September, but Heatley stayed on in Peoria until December; then for the next six months, he worked at Merck & Co. in Rahway, New Jersey. In July 1942 he returned to Oxford and was soon to learn why Moyer had become so secretive. When he published their research results, he omitted Heatley’s name from the paper, despite an original contract which stipulated that any publications should be jointly authored. Fifty years on, Heatley confessed that he was amused, rather than upset, by Moyer’s duplicity. Later he was to learn that financial greed had led Moyer to claim all the credit for himself. To have acknowledged Heatley’s part of the work would have made it difficult to apply for patents with himself as sole inventor, which is what he did.[1]

As Sir Henry Harris put it succinctly in 1998: “Without Fleming, no Chain or Florey; without Florey, no Heatley; without Heatley, no penicillin.”

Yet while Fleming, Florey, and Chain jointly received the Nobel prize for their work in 1945, Heatley’s contribution was not fully recognized for another 45 years. It was only in 1990 that he was awarded the unusual distinction of an honorary Doctorate of Medicine from Oxford University, the first given to a non-medic in Oxford’s 800-year history.[5]

Text to use: Grim reality, the bugs had the upper hand.

As Florey strolled through the labs under his control, He stopped here and there, “Tell me as simply as you can, what is the question you are asking in this experiment?

The END

NOTES

Nobel Prize Festival Stockholm 1945. Fleming now Sir, with Florey, now Sir and Dr. Chain receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology.

Kent” see 43 goes to Sheffield with Florey.

Sherrington now retired, alert as ever, and opened an envelope, recognizing Florey’s writing he read. “The results are astonishing almost miraculous effects of a most potent weapon against common forms of sepsis.”

83. Last Para.

  1. Great info on break through. And on  87 – 2nd Para.
  2. Last Para over to 92.
  3. Base ref active principle. A bit about ghost lower down interesting.

95-99 Mice dosage/results. 10

  1. The Oxford Unit 2nd Para.
  2. Lancet publication.
  3. Para 4 the pots.
  4. Arrive in USA etc. and 146 1st Para.
  5. 3rd/4th lines
  6. Aged 43 made FRS

No, Sherrington became a fellow of Caius aged 23 I was 25 when

  1. Offered Chair of pathology at Oxford 11 years after going to Cambridge.

Hugh Cairns is knighted.

Photographer Bodenham page 70 near the base.

His mouth went off again. Florey

He’s Prickly –some delete him.

Florey’s nature ruptured again.

 

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