Our History

The history of Lundbeck dating from 1915 to 2015



Global presence
In 2009, Lundbeck acquired Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc., establishing Lundbeck’s own platform in the US, the world’s largest market for pharmaceuticals. Lundbeck also acquired Elaiapharm in France, thereby increasing the company’s production capacity. Sabril® was launched in the United States for the treatment of epilepsy.

In 2011, Lundbeck launched Saphris®/Sycrest® for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Further, we established a new research centre in China and made a historic agreement
with Japanese Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. to deliver innovative medicines targeting psychiatric disorders.

Patients in the United States suffering from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome were given access to a new treatment option, with the launch of Onfi®.

In 2013, Lundbeck took its first steps into a new area, launching Selincro® in Europe for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Abilify Maintena® was launched in the US for the treatment of schizophrenia.

In early 2014, Brintellix® was launched in the US for the treatment of depression. Later in 2014, Northera™ was also launched in the US for the treatment of symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH).

At the end of 2014, Lundbeck had approximately 6000 employees in 57 countries.

In 2015, Lundbeck can celebrate its 100th anniversary. During the past century, millions of people have been treated with our therapies. It is complex and challenging to develop improved treatments for brain disease, but we keep our focus: There is still so much we need to achieve in the next 100 years to ensure a better life for people living with brain disease.


Expansion propelled by Cipralex®  success
Lundbeck expanded rapidly in the 1990s and 2000s, due to the success of Cipramil® and Cipralex® for treatment of depression and anxiety. Cipralex® was made available in about 100 countries worldwide and grew to account for the major share of Lundbeck’s business operations. Cipramil® was registered in more than 70 countries.

To ensure its continued success, Lundbeck intensified its research activities and began in-licensing drugs from other pharmaceutical companies. This enabled Lundbeck to launch new drugs to take over when the patents on other drugs expired.

In 1997, Lundbeck established the Lundbeck Institute to help reduce the global burden of brain disease by educating healthcare professionals worldwide.

Hans Lundbeck’s company finally came of age when its shares were listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange (KFX) in June 1999. The listing gave Lundbeck access to new capital in case it wanted to buy up more subsidiaries, of which there were 30 in the year 2000.

In 2003, Lundbeck acquired the US-based research company Synaptic, thereby establishing a research unit as a bridgehead in the US.


Lundbeck defines CNS as its primary focus
After 60 years of growth and development based on a wide assortment of products, Lundbeck decided at the end of the 1970s to phase out its existing agencies and cosmetics departments. After that, the company would focus on development and commercialization of drugs.

At the close of the 1980s, Lundbeck further intensified its business strategy focus. In future, Lundbeck would dedicate its efforts to development, manufacturing and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of brain diseases.


Expanding Lundbeck goes international
Lundbeck’s success with Truxal® for the treatment of schizophrenia increased the need for additional production capacity. In 1961, Lundbeck purchased a former creamery in Lumsås, Denmark, and soon began production of active compounds. Between 1960 and 1970, the number of employees doubled to 680, of whom approximately 100 were employed abroad. Lundbeck was becoming an international company.


The foundation of Lundbeck’s expertise
During the years following World War II, Lundbeck intensified its research, laying the foundation stone for the drugs which would later make Lundbeck world famous. In 1954, Grete Lundbeck, the widow of Lundbeck’s founder, established the Lundbeck Foundation for the purpose of ensuring and expanding Lundbeck’s business operations, as well as for providing financial support for primarily scientific objectives and the fight against diseases.


Expansion in manufacturing and research
In the 1930s, Lundbeck began production and packaging of pharmaceuticals in Denmark. To ensure sufficient manufacturing capacity, the company moved to the Copenhagen suburb of Valby in 1939, where Lundbeck headquarters is situated today.

Hans Lundbeck died in 1943, and Poul Viggo Petersen was employed to build up Lundbeck’s pharmaceutical research. Thanks to his efforts, Lundbeck was able to create a niche for itself in psychopharmaceuticals.


The first years as a Danish trading company
Hans Lundbeck founded an agency in Copenhagen on 14 August 1915. The company dealt in everything from machinery, biscuits, confectionery, sweeteners, cinema equipment and cameras to photographic paper and aluminium foil, besides renting out vacuum cleaners. During its first years, the business was operated as a trading company, but, from the mid-1920s, pharmaceuticals were added to its range of products. Eduard Goldschmidt was hired in 1924, bringing into the company a number of new agency contracts for drugs: suppositories, painkillers, etc. Cologne and creams were also added to the portfolio.


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