Cyanamid Products

In 1947, Aureomycin, a golden coloured germ killer was discovered in America by Or. Benjamin M. Duggar, a retired American university professor of botany. It is now being refined at the Hirwaun Industrial Trading Estate by the above named American Company.

Dr. Duggar, laboriously tested 376 samples of soil mould from all parts of America before finding one which destroyed 50 different germ species. The mould excreted a substance now known as Aureomycin.

In the manufacture of the drug a small amount of mould is added to a nutrient broth and after fermentation in 9,000 gallon tanks it thickens to a mash. This part of the operation is done at Lederle Laboratories, Pearl River, New York.

The ‘Intermediates’ are then brought to this country and at Hirwaun, where the Cyanamid buildings cover nearly 35,000 sq.ft., the delicate refining process is carried out. In this, up to a million gallons of water a day from Penderyn reservoir may be used.

Capsuling and packaging the drug will also be done at Hirwaun and although no figures have been disclosed it is not thought that a large number of workers will be employed there.

While most of the plant has been obtained in Britain permission was granted for the importation of certa in specialised equipment from America.

The drug has been used with success against the so-called “virus” pneumonia ( a debilitating disease often entailing a long stay in hospital) , brucellosis, sinusitis, blood poison ing, eye and skin infections, venereal diseases and peritonitis.

The factory is capable of supplying both the home and overseas markets. The firm are searching for another suitable site for another plant at which the complete manufacture of aureomycin can be undertaken.

This article is taken from a story printed in the Aberdare Leader dated 23rd. January, 1951