The pioneering age
Chiesi was founded in 1935 in Parma, Italy, when Giacomo Chiesi, a chemist who dreamed of doing research, bought the Laboratorio Farmaceutico Parmense and embarked on his entrepreneurial adventure.
In the 1940s the Chiesi laboratory expanded steadily and soon began exporting its products abroad as far as Eritrea. During the Second World War, parts of the company were destroyed in a bombing raid in 1944, bringing all activities to a stop until the end of the war.
When the laboratory resumed work, the first scientific collaborator was hired and Chiesi launched its first penicillin-based ointment. Giacomo Chiesi was considering buying some land to build a real factory, which he succeeded in doing in 1955. The new pharmaceutical factory had 50 employees and manufactured an extensive range of successful drugs.
In 1966 Giacomo Chiesi handed over the management of the company to his two sons Alberto and Paolo. Chiesi Farmaceutici was a small company at that time, yet it had already had some success in international markets.
At the end of the 1970s the brothers opened the first office abroad, in Brazil. 1979 represented a significant turning point in the company’s reputation as an expert in respiratory diseases with the launch of its first asthma medicine.
Internationalisation and the third Chiesi generation
From the 1980s onwards, Chiesi’s interest extended to the anti-inflammatory and pain killer areas. In 1989 the company launched its first anti-inflammatory with good gastric tolerability. The drug was soon certified for sale in the US, received an international patent, and was then available for sale in more than 60 countries. Ten years after opening the office in Brazil, the Group had also expanded across European and non-European countries. Since 1987, Chiesi has opened subsidiaries in Austria, Bulgaria, China, Eastern Europe, France, Germany, Greece, Maghreb, Pakistan, Scandinavia, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US. The company also expanded its services in the respiratory and cardiovascular therapeutic areas and began increasing its research into and production of pharmaceutical products for neonatal diseases and rare diseases, as well as musculoskeletal and vascular disorders.
The third Chiesi generation joined the company between the end of the second and the beginning of the third millennium: Alessandro, Andrea, Giacomo and Maria Paola. Their input opened up new lines of research and development at Chiesi in all therapeutic areas. In 2008, Chiesi founded Holostem Advanced Therapies Ltd, thus dedicating itself to the field of regenerative medicine. In 2013 Chiesi acquired the Danish biopharmaceutical company Zymenex, thereby extending its influence in the field of biotechnology.
Chiesi took over the general practitioner business of Asche AG in Germany in 2002 and began operating under the new name of Asche Chiesi GmbH in Hamburg. This name was changed again in 2009 to Chiesi GmbH. Until the 18th anniversary in 2019, the company expanded from 74 to approximately 350 employees and now markets innovative prescription medicines and medical devices in respiratory, neonatology, rare diseases and transplantation. The years 2018 to 2020 of the German subsidiary are characterised by new product launches in the therapeutic areas of respiratory and rare diseases as well as by various additional service offerings.