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Our heritage

An overview of our history


Xellia is a global leader in providing critical care therapies and anti-infective treatments against serious and often life-threatening infections; ranging from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to drug products (FDFs), and from generics to specialty pharmaceuticals.


Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark and owned by Novo Holdings A/S, Xellia Pharmaceuticals has more than 1800 employees globally. From state-of-the-art manufacturing sites in the U.S., China, Denmark and Hungary to R&D sites in Norway and Croatia and commercial operations across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America; Xellia Pharmaceuticals’ strong market position is built on more than 120 years of pharmaceutical industry experience. With the patient in focus, Xellia is building a pipeline of value-added critical care therapies which aim to enhance patient care by providing convenience and ease of use for healthcare professionals.


1903 Apothekernes Laboratorium (A. L.) is founded by a group of pharmacists in Norway

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1946  A/S Dumex is founded by The East Asiatic Company

1952  A.L. establishes a partnership with Commercial Solvent Corp. and obtains license to produce Bacitracin and Neomycin

1954  Production of the company's new core product, Bacitracin, begins in Oslo, Norway

1958  Production of Bacitracin Zinc begins in Oslo, Norway

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1960 - 1980

1961 A/S Dumex in Denmark begins production of Tetracyclin

1968/69 Throughout the 1960's, the company grows and production of Polymyxin B and Colistin begins in Copenhagen, Denmark

1975 In the U.S., A.L. Laboratories Inc. is established by Apothekernes Laboratorium AS. A.L. is now the U.S’s market leader in Bacitracin for human and veterinary use

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1980 - 1990

1983  A.L. Laboratories Inc. acquires A/S Dumex and the company becomes a subsidiary of A.L. Laboratories Inc

1984  A.L. Laboratories Inc. goes public and the stock is listed on the American Stock Exchange

1985  Production of Amphotericin B begins in Copenhagen, Denmark

1989  The stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange

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1991 The Bacitracin business of Lundbeck is acquired and the company becomes the world leading supplier of Bacitracin for human and veterinary use

1994 Alpharma is formed by a merger of A.L. Laboratories Inc, Dumex A/S and Apothekernes Laboratorium AS

1997 Alpharma acquires certain technologies from Cultour Food Science, Inc

1998 SKW Biotech, Hungary, is acquired

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2003 A new state-of-the-art bulk, robotized, freeze drying department for Vancomycin is opened in Copenhagen, Denmark

2005 Tobramycin facility is opened in Copenhagen, Denmark

2007  The company acquires a distribution and trading company in Japan, Nippon Dumex. Today known as Nippon Axellia Co, Ltd

2008  The Alpharma API business is acquired by investment funds managed by the private equity firm 3i and members of the management team. Xellia Pharmaceuticals is born

2008/09 Our facility in Taizhou, P.R China obtains the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Business License for the production of Vancomycin Hydrochloride and obtains FDA approval in 2009

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2010 - 2020

2013 Novo Holdings A/S acquires Xellia Pharmaceuticals on May 21st

2014 Xellia acquires manufacturing facilities in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

2015  Xellia expands US production with acquisition of manufacturing plant from Hikma Pharmaceuticals in Bedford, Ohio

2017 Xellia expands its Budapest facilities with the build of a new 3,000m2 Centralized Laboratory Services building. The new facilities strengthen our product release and stability testing services for APIs and FDFs produced across Xellia’s other sites in the US, China and Denmark

2017 Xellia signs Davos Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance

2018  Xellia opens a new North American Commercial Office (Xellia Chicago) in Buffalo Grove, Illinois to prepare for direct market entry in North America

2019 Divests Raleigh, North Carolina production facilities to Sagent Pharmaceuticals

2020 Successful outcome of a cGMP inspection conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at our Cleveland, Ohio facility, enabling us to commence manufacturing of drug products at the site

2020 Xellia opens new commercial office in Dubai

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2021 Xellia joins Medicines for Europe to support better access to critical medicines

2021 Xellia signs UN’s Women Empowerment Principles

2021 Xellia receives Industrial Research and Innovation (IRI) Grant to support the development of Value-Added Medicines (VAM) in the antibiotics space

2021 Xellia Cleveland facility commercially operational

2022 Xellia joins End Drug Shortages Alliance

2022 Xellia joins the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative 

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