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Sandoz Company History Timeline


On 1st July 1886 the new undertaking started up under the name "Kern & Sandoz" with 10 workmen and a 12-horse-power steam engine.

The two men purchased 11,000 square meters on the west bank of the Rhine River, built a manufacturing plant, and registered their business under the name of Kern & Sandoz, beginning work on the July 1, 1886.

"Sandoz Ltd., founded in 1886, has its main office in Basle, the second largest city in Switzerland and the centre of the Swiss chemical industry.

In 1886 two Swiss men, Doctor Alfred Kern and Mr.


In 1889 the partnership between J. B. and Alexis Sandoz was dissolved.


Photo #3: First Sandoz factory plant around 1890, courtesy of Novartis Global.


In 1892 he moved into the building owned by August Perrodin on the corner of Main and Grolee streets.


The brilliant talents and the whole-hearted cooperation of the partners soon led them from success osuccess, but in 1893, Alfred Kern died of heart disease when he was just 43 years old.

In 1893 the company began to change considerably.


Edouard Sandoz carried on the business under the name "Sandoz & Co." until 1895 when poor health lead him to form a limited company ("Chemical Works formerly Sandoz"). The business and technical management was handed over to a baord of directors.

In 1895 Sandoz and Company was converted into a limited company called Chemische Fabrik vormals Sandoz (Chemical Works formerly Sandoz) with a share capital of two million francs and with Edouard Sandoz as the first chairman of the board.


In 1900, Ciba produces its first pharmaceutical substances: Vioform, an antiseptic, and Salen, an antirheumatic agent.


In 1906-07, J. B. Sandoz built a three-storied brick building on the northwest corner of Main and Grolee streets, directly across from his hardware store.


12) "It was during the First World War on October 1st 1917, that Professor Arthur Stoll started his life-work with Sandoz.

In 1917, Professor Arthur Stoll creates a pharmaceutical department at Sandoz, and research begins.

The early 19th century saw the commencement of efforts to isolate the active principles responsible for this effect but the substances obtained prior to 1917 - ergotinin and ergotoxin- did not fulfil expectations.


Within a few months, in March 1918, he had isolated ergotamine which is still one of the leading Sandoz preparations.

In 1918, to circumvent the protectionist legislation in other countries which, in turn, inhibited Sandoz’s international expansion, Sandoz, Ciba, and Geigy formed the Association (Interessengemeinschaft) of Basle Dyestuff Manufacturers.


A difficult period of time was again experienced during the early 1920’s when a crisis in the textile industry caused a recession in the dependent dyestuffs industry.


The workforce was at first put on part-time employment, but in 1921 nearly 30% of the employees had to be laid off.


By 1926 the French and Swiss firms were co-operating with IG under an oral agreement.


There were six parties to this cartel; three Swiss, two French and IG [Farben]. Together the six firms accounted for eighty per cent of the value of dyestuffs produced in the world in 1927. "


Edouard Sandoz died in 1928 but the family continued to be represented on the board of directors by two of his sons Aurele and Edouard Marcel.


And in 1929 relationships were crystallized into the Continental Dye Cartel.


When 20-year-old Sidney James Sandoz took over the family business in 1936, he continued to uphold the family tradition, following the business principles set by his grandfather J. B, Sandoz.


90- 91, The Quiet War in IG Farben by Richard Sasuly (1947)


In 1949 Professor Stoll was promoted to managing director.


J. B. Sandoz celebrated its 75th Anniversary in their new brick store building on July 25 and 26, 1953.

A document dated November 16, 1953 , characterized the pending transaction as a "risky operation", but CIA officials felt it was necessary, if only to preclude any attempt the Communists might make to get their hands on the drug.


Photo #1: 1955 Letter to Dr AM Hubbard from Sandoz Pharmaceuticals regarding the shipment of 43 boxes of LSD ampuls.


In the middle of 1959 there were 25 affiliated companies and 5 jointly owned factories abroad.


- Sandoz Pharmaceutical Division , published by the Scientific Office of Sandoz Ltd.; Basle, Switzerland (1960)


And in 1964 annual sales surpassed one billion francs for the first time.


In 1967 a merger with Wander Limited of Berne added a nutrition department.


In 1968 the dyes and chemicals divisions were amalgamated and a new agro-chemical division was created.


Geigy President Louis von Planta and CIBA President Robert Käppeli shake hands to conclude the merger of CIBA-GEIGY in 1970.


The oil crisis of 1973, and the consequent rise in prices for raw materials and energy, dramatically affected Sandoz and other manufacturers who could not possible raise the prices of products high enough to cover costs.


In 1975 a five year recession began, which led to another review of company structure, this time to reduce overhead and streamline organization.

By 1975 a department of ecology and safety had been set up in Basle to establish and supervise guidelines throughout the company and its holdings.


A hospital supply business was acquired and its activities combined, during 1976, with those of Rhone-Poulenc in a joint venture.


Sandoz entered 1987 with sales over SFr8 billion, profits over SFr500 million, and an equity of more than SFr4.5 billion.


Novartis was created in 1996 through a merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz.

In 1996, the merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy creates Novartis, one of the world's largest healthcare companies.


Novartis unifies and strengthens its global research network in 2002 by creating the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), headquartered in the US in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


On April 9th 2019, Alcon becomes a separately traded standalone company while Novartis strengthens its focus on Innovative Medicines and generic medicines (Sandoz).


"Sandoz Ltd. ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 16, 2021). https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/sandoz-ltd

"Sandoz Ltd. ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved April 16, 2021 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/sandoz-ltd

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Sandoz may also be known as or be related to Sandoz, Sandoz Inc, Sandoz Inc. and Sandoz, Inc.