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Egis Centenary

1913

Pharmacist Sándor Balla and the Swiss Dr. Albert Wander established Dr. Wander Ltd. of Pharmaceuticals and Nutriments, registered on 19 February 1913. The new premises of the company – Egis’ headquarters ever since then – were built within a few months in Keresztúri Street and production began at the beginning of 1914.

1913



At that time, the company staff comprised only 50 workmen and 12 employees.

1926

The international “Humanitarian Exhibition” was held in Budapest between May and August 1926, where Dr. Wander Ltd. was present with its own kiosk, primarily advertising Ovomaltine.

1926



(Ovomaltine is currently not under trademark protection in Hungary; the patent is owned by Wander A.G.)

1933

Between 1932 and 1933 the company established its own research laboratory, where scientific research led to the isolation of pure chelidonin alkaloid (from the greater celandine).

1933



In 1937, the company developed the first heterocyclic sulfonamide drug, Ronin. In the coming years, a great number of other synthetic procedures hallmarked the work of the research laboratory.

1940

In 1940, Dr. Wander Ltd. began to expand by constructing new buildings, modernising its equipment and production.


1940


1943

From 1943, Dr. Wander Ltd. launched the periodical entitled Novitates (Novelties) for doctors.


1943



Its other publication, a brochure for pharmacists entitled Information on Dr. Wander’s Products included more than 120 medicines, many of which had considerable therapeutic effect.

1950

On 9 February 1950, in accordance with the decree of the People’s Economic Council, five pharmaceutical companies merged with Dr. Wander Ltd., thus the United National Company of Pharmaceuticals and Nutriments (EGYT) was established with 653 employees.

1950



1954

In 1954, the company’s premises tripled; the company acquired land on the other side of Keresztúri Street, which was then moved to its current track. New factories were constructed for the production of vitamin C and chloramphenicol between 1959 and 1961.


1954



A central container park and solvent station were set up; new industrial railways and a 7-floor warehouse were constructed. Besides, a cooling system and an energy plant were also established to supply the company with energy. The laboratory building was constructed in 1963.

1973

Nutriment production started at the company’s new production site located in Körmend in 1973, and at the same time discontinued in Budapest. From 1975, a new production plant was constructed in several phases. The production of galenic drugs was moved to Körmend, followed by the construction of a new tableting and packing plant. The volume of nutriment production constantly decreased in the following two decades, then stopped.

1973



At EGYT’s production site in Körmend not only nutriments were produced but ice cream as well. At that time, the ice cream called Roll filled a gap in the Hungarian market.

1985

As from 1 January 1985, the company changed its name to Egis. The main reason for this was that the company exported nearly two-thirds of its annual production, and it became increasingly important to have a name that is easy to pronounce and remember by foreign partners. The word Egis comes from the Greek word “aigis” referring to the shield of Pallas Athene and symbolizing a shield, refuge or protection, which is a clear implication to the usefulness of the company’s products.

1985



In the 1980s, the company worked out a new strategy focusing on development. Since it was impossible to further expand at the company’s headquarters, Egis acquired a 10-hectare land in the 16th district of Budapest, in Bökényföldi Street, where the new injection plant was the first to be constructed at the end of 1989.

1991

As from 1991, the name and form of the company changed to Egis Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The primary aim of this change was to enhance capital market expansion. In December 1993, Egis Ltd. performed a private equity capital increase, through which the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) obtained a 30% ownership in the company. The state owner (ÁPV Rt.) sold its shares (that accounted for 28%) to foreign investors on 1 August 1995. As a result of this, the state ceased to have ownership in the company.

1991



On 16 May 1991, Egis and Japan Tobacco, Inc. entered into a research collaboration agreement for 15 years. Through this agreement, the Japanese company contributed to the construction and equipment of Egis’ new Pharmacological and Biochemical Research Centre by 10 million USD. The new, 8000-square-meter establishment was inaugurated on 6 April 1993. It was constructed at the company’s premises in Bökényföldi Street within a year and a half and provided work for 110 employees.

1995

In December 1995, the leading French pharmaceutical company, Servier acquired 51% of the shares of Egis.

1995



Through this acquisition, the several-year-long process of the company’s privatization came to and end. Egis gained a stable owner and a professional pharmaceutical strategic partner.

2006

In 2006 the company reviewed its strategic plan updating the directions and means for production and market development. The complex, long-term reconstruction of production plants and infrastructure began at the headquarters of Egis, along with increasing the capacity of Egis’ production site in Körmend.


2006



In 2009, injection production was modernised at the company’s production site in Bökényföldi Street and a new tableting plant was constructed here, bringing finished product manufacturing at the headquarters of Egis to an end. By the end of 2010, a new Pharmaceutical Development Laboratory & Pilot Plant had also been built. The construction of Egis’ new 4500-square-meter Analytical Development Laboratory finished in 2012.

2013

Egis Pharmaceuticals PLC entered into a collaboration agreement with Celltrion Group in 2010 for the distribution of biological drugs, which enables Egis to launch the biosimilar versions of 8 high-turnover biological drugs onto its strategic markets.


2013



In 5 CIS countries including Russia Egis gained exclusive rights for the distribution of these monoclonal antibodies, which the company will also distribute in further 12 Central Eastern European countries. In November 2013, Egis launched Europe’s very first biosimilar monoclonal antibody, registered by the EMA. As of 11 December 2013 Servier’s wholly owned subsidiary, Arts et Techniques du Progrès become the owner of 100 percent of Egis’ shares.