The history of BERLIN-CHEMIE
Pharmaceutical manufacturer with a rich tradition, located in the heart of Europe
1890 – Kahlbaum Laborpräparate
In 1890, Johannes Kahlbaum founded the chemical and pharmaceutical company “Kahlbaum Laborpräparate”. The old factory once stood on the current business premises of BERLIN-CHEMIE AG in Berlin-Adlershof. At the start of the 20th century, Kahlbaum Laborpräparate already employed more than 250 persons who manufactured more than 1,000 different laboratory chemicals and first medicinal products.
1927 – From Schering-Kahlbaum AG to Schering AG
After the company merged with Schering, headquartered in Berlin-Wedding, in 1927, it belonged to one of the largest chemical and pharmaceutical companies of the country, and was renamed Schering-Kahlbaum AG. Only ten years later, in 1937, the company realigned its entire strategy following the complete takeover by Schering AG: From then on, the company focused on producing not only chemical-technical products, but also increasingly pharmaceutical products.
1956 – VEB Berlin-Chemie
After the end of the Second World War, the Adlershof factory of Schering AG was located in the Soviet occupation zone and thus in the later German Democratic Republic. As a result of dismantling, the company loses machines, equipment, laboratory facilities and raw materials, but at the same time production continues on the orders of the military administration. A large proportion of the products were seized by the occupying Soviet forces as reparations. In 1948, the Adlershof factory was nationalised and converted into a publicly owned enterprise.
From the mid-50s onwards, the company signed as VEB Berlin-Chemie. In the years that followed, the publicly owned company developed into one of the largest chemical companies with drug manufacture in the German Democratic Republic. In addition to penicillin, insulin and chloramphenicol, VEB Berlin-Chemie produced pesticides and pest control products, later also silicates for residential construction and raw materials for the textile and cosmetic industry.
1990 – Founding of BERLIN-CHEMIE Aktiengesellschaft (PLC)
Shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall, the company was converted to a private corporation (Aktiengesellschaft) to secure its future. This also led to a reorientation: From that moment on, BERLIN-CHEMIE specialised exclusively on pharmaceutical products and aligned its production to meet international standards. During the radical conversion, the company invested more than 100 million DM. With the reunification, the former Treuhandanstalt was commissioned with the sale of the newly established BERLIN-CHEMIE AG, which was put up for international tender.
1992 – Sale to the Italian MENARINI Group
In the international tendering process, the largest Italian pharmaceutical company, the MENARINI Group, acquired BERLIN-CHEMIE AG in 1992, before comprehensively expanding in particular the marketing and sales departments in order to make the company fit to meet the challenges of the time. BERLIN-CHEMIE has been operating in the German pharmaceutical market as a whole since 1993 and has achieved major economic successes since 1994. Over the past two decades, BERLIN-CHEMIE has developed into an internationally operating and successful drug manufacturer.
international standards. During the radical conversion, the company invested more than 100 million DM. With the reunification, the former Treuhandanstalt was commissioned with the sale of the newly established BERLIN-CHEMIE AG, which was put up for international tender.
2022 - 30th anniversary of BERLIN-CHEMIE and MENARINI
The 30-year affiliaton of the eastern German pharmaceutical company to the Itlaian MENARINI Group today is emblematic for a history that stands for joint success with respect to its multinationalism as well as its economic viability. At that time, BERLIN-CHEMIE enabled the MENARINI Group to enter the German, central and eastern European as well as central Asian markets and today makes a major contribution, accounting for around a third, to the group's sales volume, which stood at 3.922 billion euro in 2021.