Skip to main content

Introducing Emil von Behring

The scientist who put the ‘Behring’ into CSL Behring won the first Nobel Prize for medicine.

Emil von Behring sitzend im Labor

Scientist Emil von Behring won the Nobel Prize in 1901 for his work in diphtheria antitoxin serum – groundbreaking science that underpins plasma research happening today to fight COVID-19.

Derek Linton, a history professor who wrote a 2005 biography about von Behring, said the global pandemic – and the urgent search for treatments – brought von Behring’s innovations to mind.

In 1890s Berlin he and Japanese scientist Shibasaburo Kitasato “developed principles and procedures that resulted in viable and commercially available tetanus and diphtheria antitoxins".

The science has evolved, but these principles and procedures are the same used to develop antiviral convalescent sera today, according to Prof Linton.

CSL Behring is a founding member of the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, a collaboration among industry leaders that is pooling resources to develop a non-branded hyperimmune globulin that contains a consistently high level of antibodies to treat the novel coronavirus.

The potential product is derived from plasma donations from patients who have recovered from COVID-19.


GBR-CRP-0116 February 2021