Kristin Knight, Germany, June 20, 2012

<a title=”June_20_1 by Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoisvetmed/7950893676/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8319/7950893676_d3e71cdaea.jpg” alt=”June_20_1″ width=”500″ height=”370″ /></a>
Today we began our day at the Riemser Arzneimittel AG Headquarters in Greifswald, Germany. Our first speaker, Susanne Böhm, gave a wonderful introductory presentation on RIEMSER and its mission. RIEMSER is a German pharmaceutical company, which was initially a company involved with the production of vaccines for animals and was called RIEMSER Tierarzneimittel. The scientists worked very closely together with the scientist at the Friedich Loeffler Institute on the Isle of Riems. In 1992, the company was privatized by the Braun family. At that time, there were 30 employes. Now, the company focuses its efforts primarily on human pharma products, and some animal products. The company now employs 600 individuals who are spread across Germany, France, and the United States.

&nbsp;

RIEMSER’s expertise spans the sectors of Oncology, Dermatology, Dental, and Veterinary work. It distributes nearly 300 products in 94 different countries. RIEMSER manufactures everything from Foot and Mouth vaccines for animals, to oral dental implants for humans, as well as anti-obesity and cardiovascular drugs. RIEMSER also prides itself on maintaining a high level of laboratory and manufacturing safety regulations. These “ good manufacturing and laboratory practices”,  “ GMP’s” and “GLP’s”, allow for strict quality control and a superior product.

&nbsp;

A particularly interesting couple of products that RIEMSER manufactures were shared with us. The picture aside displays “ Bite away” and “ Herpotherm”. “ Bite away” is a pen like device used in the moments after an insect bite or sting. The pen is meant to bring relief to a swollen and inflamed bite site. “Herpotherm” works similarly by applying directed heat ( 51-52 degrees Celsius) to the site of a cold sore, which quite effectively prevents the  presence of a blister. These items are as small as a pocket flashlight and are a promising alternative to other therapies! These are only a few of the advances REIMSER prides itself on as they enthusiastically move forward into the future of pharma production.

<a title=”June_20_2 by Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoisvetmed/7950893462/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8176/7950893462_b9f8694292.jpg” alt=”June_20_2″ width=”500″ height=”352″ /></a>

Vaccine production is now a small portion of RIEMSER’s efforts, but of great interest to our group. We learned that the headquarters of production was in fact the Greifswald location we were visiting. On site, REIMSER  produces a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine as well as a Swine Fever vaccine. Foot and Mouth Disease and Swine Fever are extremely detrimental viruses on a broad scale, which can severely affect live stock populations across a continent in a short period of time. Thus, the production of these vaccines is of upmost importance to a country’s economy and national security.

<a title=”JUne_20_3 by Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoisvetmed/7950893304/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8169/7950893304_b28ffe2f15.jpg” alt=”JUne_20_3″ width=”385″ height=”446″ /></a>

Our next speakers served as curators for a wonderful museum of the Friedrich Loeffler institute and RIEMSER lab.  Dr. Sigurd Tesmer, and Dr. Wolfgang Wittmann shared the history of FLI with our group through a plethora of artifacts from the lab’s infancy alongside recollections of the RIEMSER’s successful past. Friedrich Loeffler was the first director of the institute of Hygiene founded in Greifswald,  Germany, in 1888. At one point in his work, Loeffler even worked with the legendary Robert Koch while working in Berlin! Robert Koch is another legendary scientist who is well known for his famous, “ Koch’s Postulates” regarding microbial and disease transmission.

<a title=”June_20_4 by Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoisvetmed/7950893124/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8458/7950893124_26a131af4f.jpg” alt=”June_20_4″ width=”337″ height=”436″ /></a>

While touring the museum we learned much about Friedrich Loeffler and his influential work with foot and mouth disease. Among his other accomplishments Loeffler also had a mind for public health. Loeffler helped develop a sewer system for the longest street in Greifswald in 1913. Today the very street is named after Loeffler, Friedrich Loeffler Strasse, to commemorate his great contributions. With Loeffler’s passing in 1915, a fellow Veterinarian Otto Waldman, continued Loeffler’s work with the foot and mouth vaccine research. It wasn’t until 1940, that the vaccine was first used on livestock to curb the effects of this dangerous disease. Prof. Wittman explained to us, that at the time the vaccine’s virus content was so low that large quantities were required to be injected to have the appappropriate effect, this was sometimes nearly 40-60mls! In order to solve this problem a unique device was made to safely inject this quantity. (Pictured here is that very device! You can see its long tubing and pump like mechanism used to inject the vaccine once a dose was calculated!)

Today we began our day at the Riemser Arzneimittel AG Headquarters in Greifswald, Germany. Our first speaker, Susanne Böhm, gave a wonderful introductory presentation on RIEMSER and its mission. RIEMSER is a German pharmaceutical company, which was initially a company involved with the production of vaccines for animals and was called RIEMSER Tierarzneimittel. The scientists worked very closely together with the scientist at the Friedich Loeffler Institute on the Isle of Riems. In 1992, the company was privatized by the Braun family. At that time, there were 30 employes. Now, the company focuses its efforts primarily on human pharma products, and some animal products. The company now employs 600 individuals who are spread across Germany, France, and the United States.

&nbsp;

RIEMSER’s expertise spans the sectors of Oncology, Dermatology, Dental, and Veterinary work. It distributes nearly 300 products in 94 different countries. RIEMSER manufactures everything from Foot and Mouth vaccines for animals, to oral dental implants for humans, as well as anti-obesity and cardiovascular drugs. RIEMSER also prides itself on maintaining a high level of laboratory and manufacturing safety regulations. These “ good manufacturing and laboratory practices”,  “ GMP’s” and “GLP’s”, allow for strict quality control and a superior product.

&nbsp;

A particularly interesting couple of products that RIEMSER manufactures were shared with us. The picture aside displays “ Bite away” and “ Herpotherm”. “ Bite away” is a pen like device used in the moments after an insect bite or sting. The pen is meant to bring relief to a swollen and inflamed bite site. “Herpotherm” works similarly by applying directed heat ( 51-52 degrees Celsius) to the site of a cold sore, which quite effectively prevents the  presence of a blister. These items are as small as a pocket flashlight and are a promising alternative to other therapies! These are only a few of the advances REIMSER prides itself on as they enthusiastically move forward into the future of pharma production.

&nbsp;

Vaccine production is now a small portion of RIEMSER’s efforts, but of great interest to our group. We learned that the headquarters of production was in fact the Greifswald location we were visiting. On site, REIMSER  produces a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine as well as a Swine Fever vaccine. Foot and Mouth Disease and Swine Fever are extremely detrimental viruses on a broad scale, which can severely affect live stock populations across a continent in a short period of time. Thus, the production of these vaccines is of upmost importance to a country’s economy and national security.

Our next speakers served as curators for a wonderful museum of the Friedrich Loeffler institute and RIEMSER lab.  Dr. Sigurd Tesmer, and Dr. Wolfgang Wittmann shared the history of FLI with our group through a plethora of artifacts from the lab’s infancy alongside recollections of the RIEMSER’s successful past. Friedrich Loeffler was the first director of the institute of Hygiene founded in Greifswald,  Germany, in 1888. At one point in his work, Loeffler even worked with the legendary Robert Koch while working in Berlin! Robert Koch is another legendary scientist who is well known for his famous, “ Koch’s Postulates” regarding microbial and disease transmission.

&nbsp;

While touring the museum we learned much about Friedrich Loeffler and his influential work with foot and mouth disease. Among his other accomplishments Loeffler also had a mind for public health. Loeffler helped develop a sewer system for the longest street in Greifswald in 1913. Today the very street is named after Loeffler, Friedrich Loeffler Strasse, to commemorate his great contributions. With Loeffler’s passing in 1915, a fellow Veterinarian Otto Waldman, continued Loeffler’s work with the foot and mouth vaccine research. It wasn’t until 1940, that the vaccine was first used on livestock to curb the effects of this dangerous disease. Prof. Wittman explained to us, that at the time the vaccine’s virus content was so low that large quantities were required to be injected to have the app

Today we began our day at the Riemser Arzneimittel AG Headquarters in Greifswald, Germany. Our first speaker, Susanne Böhm, gave a wonderful introductory presentation on RIEMSER and its mission. RIEMSER is a German pharmaceutical company, which was initially a company involved with the production of vaccines for animals and was called RIEMSER Tierarzneimittel. The scientists worked very closely together with the scientist at the Friedich Loeffler Institute on the Isle of Riems. In 1992, the company was privatized by the Braun family. At that time, there were 30 employes. Now, the company focuses its efforts primarily on human pharma products, and some animal products. The company now employs 600 individuals who are spread across Germany, France, and the United States.

&nbsp;

RIEMSER’s expertise spans the sectors of Oncology, Dermatology, Dental, and Veterinary work. It distributes nearly 300 products in 94 different countries. RIEMSER manufactures everything from Foot and Mouth vaccines for animals, to oral dental implants for humans, as well as anti-obesity and cardiovascular drugs. RIEMSER also prides itself on maintaining a high level of laboratory and manufacturing safety regulations. These “ good manufacturing and laboratory practices”,  “ GMP’s” and “GLP’s”, allow for strict quality control and a superior product.

&nbsp;

A particularly interesting couple of products that RIEMSER manufactures were shared with us. The picture aside displays “ Bite away” and “ Herpotherm”. “ Bite away” is a pen like device used in the moments after an insect bite or sting. The pen is meant to bring relief to a swollen and inflamed bite site. “Herpotherm” works similarly by applying directed heat ( 51-52 degrees Celsius) to the site of a cold sore, which quite effectively prevents the  presence of a blister. These items are as small as a pocket flashlight and are a promising alternative to other therapies! These are only a few of the advances REIMSER prides itself on as they enthusiastically move forward into the future of pharma production.

&nbsp;

Vaccine production is now a small portion of RIEMSER’s efforts, but of great interest to our group. We learned that the headquarters of production was in fact the Greifswald location we were visiting. On site, REIMSER  produces a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine as well as a Swine Fever vaccine. Foot and Mouth Disease and Swine Fever are extremely detrimental viruses on a broad scale, which can severely affect live stock populations across a continent in a short period of time. Thus, the production of these vaccines is of upmost importance to a country’s economy and national security.

Our next speakers served as curators for a wonderful museum of the Friedrich Loeffler institute and RIEMSER lab.  Dr. Sigurd Tesmer, and Dr. Wolfgang Wittmann shared the history of FLI with our group through a plethora of artifacts from the lab’s infancy alongside recollections of the RIEMSER’s successful past. Friedrich Loeffler was the first director of the institute of Hygiene founded in Greifswald,  Germany, in 1888. At one point in his work, Loeffler even worked with the legendary Robert Koch while working in Berlin! Robert Koch is another legendary scientist who is well known for his famous, “ Koch’s Postulates” regarding microbial and disease transmission.

&nbsp;

While touring the museum we learned much about Friedrich Loeffler and his influential work with foot and mouth disease. Among his other accomplishments Loeffler also had a mind for public health. Loeffler helped develop a sewer system for the longest street in Greifswald in 1913. Today the very street is named after Loeffler, Friedrich Loeffler Strasse, to commemorate his great contributions. With Loeffler’s passing in 1915, a fellow Veterinarian Otto Waldman, continued Loeffler’s work with the foot and mouth vaccine research. It wasn’t until 1940, that the vaccine was first used on livestock to curb the effects of this dangerous disease. Prof. Wittman explained to us, that at the time the vaccine’s virus content was so low that large quantities were required to be injected to have the appropriate effect, this was sometimes nearly 40-60mls! In order to solve this problem a unique device was made to safely inject this quantity. (Pictured here is that very device! You can see its long tubing and pump like mechanism used to inject the vaccine once a dose was calculated!)

<a title=”June_20_5 by Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoisvetmed/7950893040/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8176/7950893040_0cbe74e6c1_n.jpg” alt=”June_20_5″ width=”320″ height=”218″ /></a>

Professor Wittmann showed us some other incredible artifacts during our tour. Some of which included an actual biscuit infused vaccine dose developed at RIEMSER to help curb a hog cholera outbreak in the 90’s. We also viewed a machine designed to give an aerosolized vaccine to an animal, this was groundbreaking for its time.  We were even fortunate enough to see a refurbished desk that Loeffler and colleagues may have once sat at to make these incredible discoveries! Professor Wittmann reminded us that Loeffler will always be remembered for his crucial role in the creation of the first biological institute and important donations to the scientific community.

<a title=”June_20_6 by Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoisvetmed/7950892916/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8033/7950892916_e23350d03a.jpg” alt=”June_20_6″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /></a>

Before leaving the center we made sure to continue tradition and have our picture taken with the guinea pig statue outside the institute. These three guinea pigs were set here as a reminder to all that pass through the facility, to respect and remember the animals that donate their lives to research. During his studies with foot and mouth disease Loeffler found that guinea pigs were a much more manageable and relevant model than other animal species used in research. Today the statue pays tribute to the animals that have, and continue to donate their lives to save both humans and animals across the globe.

<a title=”June_20_7 by Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoisvetmed/7950892624/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8297/7950892624_662fed9d3e.jpg” alt=”June_20_7″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /></a>

After a short drive we arrived in the beach town of Zinnowitz. Here the students spent time exploring the small shops and walking along the coastline of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic is a body of water bordering Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Poland. Although the water was quite chilly many of the students enjoyed walking along the expansive beach and having fun in the water! Wading in the water with such an excellent view was a great way to relax before we took our long car ride back to Berlin that evening.

Upon arriving back to Berlin we finished up our long day with dinner at a restaurant in the Center of Berlin’s Nikolai Viertel, Mutter Hoppe. There, many students sampled classic German cuisine! Pictured is an example of a great meal with appetizing German Bloodwurst. This is only one of the nearly 1,500 types of wurst available in Germany! Many students found it rewarding to sample the local wursts after only a few days prior, we’d learned the science and composition behind these great meats! Dinner was always a challenging experience for the students as we tested our abilities to decipher menus and order our meals with the correct pronunciation! We greatly appreciated the help Dr. Hoenig offered, and learned a decent amount of German from the experience!

<a title=”June_20_8 by Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/illinoisvetmed/7950892402/”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8306/7950892402_dec13d1bdc.jpg” alt=”June_20_8″ width=”500″ height=”322″ /></a>