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Johnson & Johnson Company History Timeline


Johnson joined forces with his brothers, James Wood Johnso n and Edward Mead Johnson, and the three began producing dressings in 1886 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, with 14 employees in a former wal lpaper factory.

1886: Johnson brothers begin producing surgical dressings in N ew Brunswick, New Jersey.

The company was founded in 1886 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


Because Lister's recommended method for sterilization, spraying the o perating room with carbolic acid, was found to be impractical and cum bersome, Johnson & Johnson (which was incorporated in 1887) found a ready market for its product.

1887: Company is incorporated as Johnson & Johnson (J& J).


The establishment of a bacteriological laboratory in 1891 gave resear ch a boost, and by the following year the company had met accepted re quirements for a sterile product.


The adhesive bandage was furt her improved in 1899 when, with the cooperation of surgeons, J&J introduced a zinc oxide-based adhesive plaster that was stronger and overcame much of the problem of the skin irritation that plagued many patients.


R.W. Johnson died in 1910 and was succeeded as chairman by his brothe r James.


In 1915, George F. Merson opened a facility in Edinburgh for the manufacturing, packaging, and sterilizing of catgut, silk, and nylon sutures.


To guara ntee a source for the company's increasing need for textile materials , J&J purchased Chicopee Manufacturing Corporation in 1916.


The f irst international affiliate was founded in Canada in 1919.

1919: International expansion begins with the establishment of Johnson & Johnson Canada.


1921: Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages make their debut.


A few yea rs later, in 1923, Robert W. Johnson's sons, Robert Johnson and J. Se ward Johnson, took an around-the-world tour that convinced them that J&J should expand overseas, and Johnson & Johnson Limited was established in Great Britain a year later.


1924: Overseas expansion begins with the establishment of John son & Johnson Limited in the United Kingdom.


James Wood Johnson takes over the leadership of Johnson & Johnson until 1932.


In 1933, Constant Janssen, the father of Paul Janssen, acquired the right to distribute the pharmaceutical products of Richter, a Hungarian pharmaceutical company, for Belgium, the Netherlands and Belgian Congo.


On 23 October 1934, he founded the N.V. Produkten Richter in Turnhout.


In 1943, as the company was preparing for its initial public offering (IPO), Robert Wood Johnson wrote what would become called by the company "Our Credo," a defining document that has been used to guide the company's decisions over the years.


On the heels of th e credo came the company's change from family-owned firm to public co mpany, as J&J was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1944.

That year, J&J also continued its record of issuing dividends to shareholders every quarter since 1944, increa sed its dividend for the 43rd straight year, and achieved a double-di git increase in earnings for the 19th consecutive year.

1944: Company goes public on the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1944, Johnson & Johnson became a publicly traded company and acquired a groundbreaking company which became Ethicon, for the production of sterile surgical sutures.


Merson's company in 1947, and this was renamed Ethicon Suture Laboratories.


In 1953 this became Ethicon Inc.


In 1956, Paul Janssen founded his own research laboratory within the Richter-Eurpharma company of his father.


In 1959 J&J acquired McNeil Laboratories, Inc., maker of a non-as pirin (acetaminophen) pain reliever called Tylenol, which was at that time available only by prescription.

In 1959, Johnson & Johnson acquired McNeil Laboratories and a year later, the company was able to sell Tylenol for the first time without a prescription.

In 1959, Cilag joined Johnson & Johnson.


1960: McNeil Labs introduces Tylenol as an over-the-counter (O TC) pain reliever.


On 24 October 1961, the company was acquired by the American corporation Johnson & Johnson.

To bolster its drug R&D efforts, J&J completed its first majo r pharmaceutical deal since the 1961 purchase of Janssen Pharmaceutic a.


Meantime, the company expanded its feminine hygiene lin e through the 1973 acquisition of the German firm Doctor Carl Hahn G.m.b .H., maker of the o.b. brand of tampons.

Sellars, Hofmann's protégé, had become chairman in 1973 , and served in that position for three years.


1975: Through a significant price decrease, Tylenol is transfo rmed into a mass-marketed product.


Burke succeeded Sellar s in 1976 as CEO and chairman of the board, and David R. Clare was ap pointed president.


Janssen Biotech, Inc., formerly known as Centocor Biotech, Inc., is a biotechnology company that was founded in Philadelphia in 1979.


In September 1982 tragedy struck J&J when seven people died from ingesting Tylenol capsules that had been laced with cyanide.

A Tylenol recall was issued in 1982 after seven people died from cyanide poisoning.

In 1982, Centocor transitioned into a publicly-traded company.


On February 23, 1985, group chairman of Johnson & Johnson International, Giorgio Petronio, presided over the ground breaking ceremony for a new building at the Paranaque site that would house all of Johnson&Johnson Philippines’administrative offices.


After the historic event at EDSA in 1986, growth once again became the priority for the Company.

In 1986 J&J acquired LifeScan, Inc., maker of at- home blood-monitoring products for diabetics.


By the end of 1987, the Company rebound was in full swing and for the first time, Johnson & Johnson Philippines was welcomed into the ranks of the country’s top 100 corporations.


Following the acquisition of Frontier Contact Lenses, which was renam ed Vistakon, J&J introduced the Acuvue brand of disposable contac t lenses in the United States in 1988.

1988: Acuvue disposable contact lenses are introduced.


In 1989 Bristol-Myers launched an aggressive advertising campaign tha t positioned its Nuprin brand ibuprofen pain reliever in direct compe tition with Tylenol.

In 1989 J&J and drug giant Merck & Co., Inc . entered into a joint venture, Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Co., to develop OTC versions of Merck's prescription medications, initially for the United States market, later expanded to Europe and Canada.

Burke and Clare retired in 1989 and were succeeded by three executive s: CEO and Chairman Ralph S. Larsen, who came from the consumer secto r; Vice-Chairman Robert E. Campbell, who had headed the professional sector; and President Robert N. Wilson, who had headed the pharmaceut ical sector.

In 1989 the infant products divis ion was joined with the health and dental units to form a broader con sumer products segment, eliminating approximately 300 jobs in the pro cess.

Net earnings had nearly quad rupled since 1989, while net sales nearly tripled over the same perio d.

1989: J&J and Merck form joint venture to develop OTC vers ions of Merck's prescription medications.


J ames Burke's savvy, yet honest, handling of the Tylenol tampering inc ident earned him a spot in the National Business Hall of Fame, an hon or awarded in 1990.


Litigation over the incident was finally resolved in 1991, almost a decade after the initial tampering.


In 1992, Ethicon was restructured, and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. became a separate corporation.

Ethicon Endo-Surgery was part of Ethicon Inc. until 1992, when it became a separate corporate entity under the J&J umbrella.


The skin care line had received a boost in 1993 through the purchase of R oC S.A. of France, a maker of hypoallergenic facial, hand, body, and other products under the RoC name.


J&J spent another billion dolla rs in 1995 for the clinical diagnostics unit of Eastman Kodak Company , which was particularly strong in the areas of clinical chemistry, w hich involves the analysis of simple compounds in the body, and immun o-diagnostics.

1995: Merck and J&J launch Pepcid AC; company acquires the clinical diagnostics unit of Eastman Kodak Company.


In 1997 J&J combined its existing Ortho Diagnostic s Systems unit with the operations acquired from Kodak to form Ortho- Clinical Diagnostics, Inc. (LifeScan remained a separately run diagno stics company.)

In 1997, in exchange for several consumer products, J&J acquired the OTC rights to the Motrin bran d of ibuprofen pain relievers from Pharmacia & Upjohn.


J&J had been a pioneer in the market for coronary stents, devices used to keep arteries open follo wing angioplasty, but its stent sales fell from $700 million in 1 996 to just over $200 million in 1998 after competitors introduce d second-generation stents and J&J did not.

On the n egative side, J&J was forced to initiate a restructuring in 1998 following a number of difficulties.

1998: DePuy, Inc. is acquired, and a companywide restructuring is launched.

Johnson & Johnson acquired DePuy Synthes in 1998.

DePuy was acquired by J&J in 1998, rolling it into the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices group.


In October 1999 J&J merged with major biotechnology firm Cento cor, Inc. in a $4.9 billion stock-for-stock transaction, the larg est such deal in company history.

Propulsid had garnered nearly $ 1 billion in sales in 1999.

In 1999, Centocor became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.


The year 2000 got off to a rough start for the company, as it was for ced to withdraw from the market a prescription heartburn medication, Propulsid, after the drug had been linked to 100 deaths and hundreds of cases of cardiac irregularity.

In the meantime, Johnson & Johnson expanded its OTC pain reliever lineup in 2000 by acquiring the St Joseph brand, best known for its orange-flavored, low-dose aspirin, which was in wide use as a doctor -recommended daily therapy.


Also in 2001, J&J's LifeScan unit was bolstered through the $1.3 billion purchase of the diabetes- care-products business of Inverness Medical Technology Inc., producer of devices used by diabetes patients to monitor their blood-sugar le vels.

2001: ALZA Corporation is purchased for $13.4 billion.

In 2001, McNeil Consumer Healthcare changed its name to McNeil Consumer & Specialty Medicals Products.

In 2001, a portion of their research activities were transferred to the United States and reorganized under the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development organization.

The year 2000 got off to a rough start for the company, as it was for ced to withdraw from the market a prescription heartburn medication, Propulsid, after the drug had been linked to 100 deaths and hundreds of cases of cardiac irregularity. It accounted for as much as 10 percent of the company's overall revenues, which surpassed the &# 36;30 billion mark for the first time in 2001 and $40 billion jus t two years later.


Grace del Rosario-Castano became the 12th president and managing director of Johnson&Johnson Philippines on the first of April, 2002 – the first Filipina to take the helm of the Company.


In pharmaceuticals, J&J once again turned acquisiti ve to bolster a somewhat somnolent drug-development pipeline, buying Scios Inc. in April 2003.

Finally, the company introduced Splenda, a no-calorie sweetener that by 2003 would garner the top position in United States retail sales of tabletop sweeteners.

One of the company's key achievements of 2003 was the receipt of FDA approval for Cordis's Cypher, a stent coated with a drug desig ned to reduce reblockage of blood vessels.


On 27 October 2004, the Paul Janssen Research Center was founded.

By 2004 the number of persons who had all egedly died from the use of the drug had risen to more than 415, and more than 400 lawsuits representing the interests of about 5,900 plai ntiffs had been filed against J&J's Janssen unit, the maker of Pr opulsid.

Sales of Natrecor rose to $384 million by 2004, bu t the potential blockbuster status of the drug came into question fol lowing reports that it was damaging patients' kidneys.

During 2004 revenues reached $47.35 billion and increased for the 71st consecutive year.

2004: J&J reaches agreement to acquire Guidant Corporation for $25.4 billion.


In 2008, Centocor, Inc. and Ortho Biotech Inc. merged to form Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.

In 2008, J&J announced it would acquire Mentor Corporation for $1 billion and merge its operations into Ethicon.

In 2008 Ethicon Endo-Surgery acquired tissue sealing system developer, SurgRx, Inc.


In June 2009 Johnson & Johnson, through a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Kite Merger Sub, Inc., announced it would purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc. for $43.00 in cash or around $970 million.


In June 2010, Centocor Ortho Biotech acquired RespiVert, a privately held drug discovery company focused on developing small-molecule, inhaled therapies for the treatment of pulmonary diseases.

In September 2010, Johnson & Johnson announced it had completed the acquisition of Micrus Endovascular, manufacturer of minimally invasive devices for hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes.

In October 2010, J&J acquired Crucell for $2.4 billion and will operate as the centre for vaccines, within the wider Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals group.


In June 2011, Centocor Ortho Biotech changed its name to Janssen Biotech, Inc. as part of a global effort to unite the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies around the world under a common identity.

In September 2011 the business acquired SterilMed, Inc.


In May 2012, Johnson & Johnson (China) Investment Ltd announced it would acquire surgery blood clotting developer, Guangzhou Bioseal Biotechnology Co., Ltd.


In August 2013, the company acquired Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


In November 2014, the company acquired Alios BioPharma, Inc. for $1.75 billion.

In December 2014, the company announced it would co-develop MacroGenics cancer drug candidate (MGD011) which targets both CD19 and CD3 proteins in treating B-cell malignant tumours.


In January 2015, the company announced it will utilise Isis Pharmaceuticals' RNA-targeting technology to discover and develop antisense drugs targeting autoimmune disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, with the partnership potentially generating up to $835 million for Isis.

In February 2015, DePuy announced it would acquire Olive Medical Corporation.

In November 2015, Biosense Webster, Inc. acquired Coherex, Medical Inc. expanding the companies range of treatment options for patients with atrial fibrillation.


In March 2016, J&Js Ethicon business unit announced it would acquire NeuWave Medical, Inc.

In May 2016, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. acquired Biomedical Enterprises, Inc., an industry leader in small bone fixation.

In July 2016, J&J announced its intention to acquire the privately held company, Vogue International LLC, boosting Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.


In January 2017, the company acquired Interventional Spine, Inc.

In January 2017, J&J subsidiary Ethicon announced it would acquire Megadyne Medical Products, Inc., a medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets electrosurgical tools.

In January 2017, J&J fought off competition from Sanofi to acquire Swiss drugmaker Actelion.

In February 2017, Ethicon acquired medical device manufacturer, Torax Medical for an undisclosed sum.

In April 2017, Irish subsidiary DePuy Ireland Unlimited Company announced it would acquire Neuravi, a company with a portfolio of products for hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes for an undisclosed sum, with Codman Neuro being behind the deal.

In July 2017, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc announced that its Abbott Medical Optics subsidiary would acquire TearScience, who recently received FDA approval for an office-based approach to imaging meibomian glands and treating meibomian gland dysfunction.


In March 2018, the company announced that LifeScan, Inc. would be sold off to Platinum Equity for around $2.1 billion.

In May 2018, Janssen announced it would acquire BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

In June 2018, the business announced that Advanced Sterilization Products would be sold off to Fortive Corporation for around $2.8 billion.


In February 2019, Johnson & Johnson announced that Ethicon had agreed to acquire surgical robotic company, Auris Health Inc, for $3.4 billion in cash and over $2.3 billion in contingent payments based on performance.

In December 2019 XBiotech Inc. announced it would sell its novel antibody treatment (bermekimab) that neutralizes interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1⍺) to Janssen Biotech, Inc. for $750 million plus up to a further $600 million.

In 2019, Johnson & Johnson made over $100 billion in sales.

In 2019, Johnson & Johnson announced the release of photochromic contact lenses.


Demand for the product Tylenol surged two to four times normal levels in March 2020.

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Edward Johnson,James Johnson,Robert Johnson I
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Johnson & Johnson may also be known as or be related to Johnson & Johnson Services Inc, J&J Family of Companies, Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.