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Connaught Laboratories

Est. 1914

A series of acquisitions since then have transferred ownership of what used to be the Connaught Laboratories to the global vaccine business of Sanofi.

In 1913, John G. FitzGerald took up a new role as part-time Associate Professor of Hygiene at the University of Toronto. After becoming one of the youngest graduates of the University of Toronto Medical School in 1903, he had spent a decade pursuing further study across North America and Europe, learning how to make antitoxins and observing novel approaches to public health education, research, and biological manufacture. Around that time, calls had mounted for a "Pasteur Institute" in Toronto following a rabies outbreak in southwestern Ontario, since the only closest-available source of life-saving treatment was in New York. FitzGerald worked with William Fenton to prepare the rabies vaccine. Following the success, they soon moved to tackle the lack of access to the diphtheria antitoxin with a commitment from Ontario's Chief Medical Officer that the Ontario Board of Health would buy the antitoxin at cost and ultimately distribute it for free. The initial work done with a stable of horses in Fenton's backyard proved successful, and in 1914 FitzGerald presented a plan to the Board of Governors of the University of Toronto which included dedicating any proceeds to the improvement of public health and education.

Contemporaneously, the institution was likened to the Pasteur Institutes in France and Belgium and the Lister Institute in London. It expanded significantly after the discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921, manufacturing and distributing insulin at cost in Canada and overseas.

Connaught Laboratories
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