Connaught, nevertheless, had provide you with an artificial, liquid progress combination, referred to as Medium 199, for most cancers cell analysis that produced extra virus, extra shortly and with out contamination. It was supplied to Dr. Salk for his polio efforts.

Credit score…Sanofi Pasteur Canada Archives

It was Dr. Farrell, one among a really small variety of ladies then working as analysis chemists in Canada, who discovered methods to safely produce huge portions of virus in Medium 199. Adapting earlier work, she developed what got here to be referred to as the Toronto Technique. Racks of specifically designed machines gently rocked bottles of Technique 199 and the virus.

Her subsequent job was to get sufficient machines constructed and to rent sufficient certified employees to make not solely sufficient virus for the checks in america, Canada and Finland, but in addition to create sufficient vaccine to inoculate all of Canada’s youngsters. In a bid to speed up vaccination, the Canadian authorities gambled and positioned an order with Connaught earlier than realizing if the Salk vaccine would show protected and efficient in checks.

It did, with the end result made public on April 12, 1955, the day earlier than Dr. Farrell’s birthday. “I couldn’t assist feeling that I had obtained a fairly superb current,” she stated in a speech that fall.

Variations of the Toronto Technique have been used till the 1970s to make polio vaccines, Dr. Rutty informed me. Apparently, at Dr. Farrell’s request, Connaught determined to not patent the method.

Dr. Rutty, who’s the professional relating to Canada’s function in polio analysis and who serves because the historian for Connaught’s successor firm, Sanofi Pasteur Canada, stated that frustratingly little is understood about Dr. Farrell’s private life. She by no means married, as was the case with many different ladies in Canadian medical analysis, nor had youngsters.