No. of vaccines administered at Semmelweis University - 6 February 2023
545424 Total vaccines
The cooperation between Semmelweis University and Richter Gedeon Plc. will be further deepened by the Faculty of Pharmacy’s Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory taking the name of the renowned pharmacist.

“The right path does not lead to abstract theorizing, but deep into experience,” quoted Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University the saying attributed to Paracelsus at the ceremonial opening of the Gedeon Richter Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory of the Faculty of Pharmacy, to underline that “theory and practice can never be completely separated, but the importance of practical experience is of paramount importance.” He stressed that this is also the case for the laboratory, which will bear the name of the Hungarian pharmaceutical industry’s founder, following the unveiling of the bronze Gedeon Richter plaque at the entrance.

The founder of the pharmaceutical company graduated as a pharmacist at the university’s predecessor and later collaborated with several university institutes in his research. As a recent example of cooperation, the rector mentioned that Richter Gedeon Plc. supported the modernization of the educational laboratory when it was renovated in 2005, and that Semmelweis University and the pharmaceutical company signed a strategic cooperation agreement in 2019. Over the past 14 years, 11 joint research programs have been implemented and several working committees are currently preparing forthcoming projects.

Among the long-term plans, he also mentioned the establishment of a Gedeon Richter faculty, which would primarily deal with current issues of pharmaceutical research and development.

He also recalled that the scientific prize named after Gedeon Richter, established by the university, was awarded for the first time to Dr. Romána Zelkó, Director of the Institute for Pharmaceutical Organization at the University Pharmacy.

Dr. Béla Merkely emphasized that the university and the pharmaceutical company share similar values: serving people’s health, strategic thinking, striving for excellence and the priority of research and innovation. „Our common goal is to be globally competitive in our own field, but at the same time, to serve Hungary with our results,” said the rector. He stressed that the work carried out at the Faculty of Pharmacy and in this laboratory is producing tangible results. „Training excellent professionals and further improving the quality of research are in the interest of all of us. This will bring the institution closer to its goal of becoming one of the top 100 universities in the world and one of the top five medical universities in Europe”, he added.

„Perhaps Gedeon Richter himself did not assume when he purchased the Sas Pharmacy near the university after receiving his diploma, that he was laying the foundations of a cooperation that will be lasting for more than a century,” said Gábor Orbán, CEO of Richter Gedeon Plc. and President of the Foundation for National Health Care and Medical Education, before the memorial plaque’s unveiling. He drew attention to the fact that due to the technological development in the sector, the competition for talented and qualified professionals is perhaps even stronger today than it was in Richter’s time. The aim of the laboratory is to provide students with the right basis and support to prepare them for challenges of the future, so that they can become internationally competitive professionals when they graduate.

It is in our common interest to train highly qualified professionals in Hungary, and to employ them here in the future.”

– said Gábor Orbán. He added that this goal can be achieved in cooperation with Hungarian higher education, which is why it is an honour that the Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory of Semmelweis University, which is among the 250 best universities in the world, is named after the company’s founder.

„This educational laboratory is special not only because it is located in the former Pasteur Institute, led by Endre Hőgyes when Gedeon Richter graduated, but also because in addition to the practice-oriented undergraduate and postgraduate training, researchers and lecturers can also study here, in the course of their research and development work,” said Dr. István Antal, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Director of the Institute of Pharmacy, adding that in this laboratory, hundreds of students in three grades can acquire the latest professional skills every year. He also thanked colleagues from the pharmaceutical industry for their participation in the undergraduate and postgraduate training of pharmacists.

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The laboratory’s facilities provide a background in pharmaceutical technology research and drug development that enables to explore a wide variety of drug delivery routes, with several prototype developments receiving marketing authorizations. Miniaturized equipment for industrial pharmaceutical production at laboratory level (e.g. tableting machines, film coaters, spray dryers, micronising and nano mills, microencapsulators, mixers, etc.) range from traditional drug delivery forms, to state-of-the-art devices for studying drug-carrying nanoparticles, to 3D-printed, personalized, patient-centred medicines, and the lyophilisation devices that are now gaining ground in biomedicine.

Gedeon Richter is a role model who has demonstrated his expertise by putting it into practice, along with his determination to improve and perfect through outstanding innovation and his commitment to the quality of medicine that marks the pharmacist’s approach. We can draw strength from his vocation, creativity and legacy in 2022, at the Gedeon Richter Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory of the Institute of Pharmacy,” added Dr. István Antal, noting that the long-standing and fruitful relationship with the pharmaceutical company – already marked by previous joint patents – will hopefully be reinvigorated in the future.

Melinda Katalin Kiss
Translation: Viktória Kiss
Photo: Máté Lefler – Semmelweis University