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GlaxoSmithKline, #2 pharmaceutical by revenues (surpassed by Novartis in 2008) received approval from U.S. FDA for an H1N1 vacine on Nov.16, 2009 made by GSK subsidiary ID Biomedical Corp.

–merged with Beckman Instruments(1982), Beecham (1989), and GlaxoWellcome (2000, formerly BurroughsWellcome)

Burroughs-Wellcome, founded by American Henry Solomon Wellcome, written of by Brian Deer of the (UK) Sunday Times . Henry “Hank” Wellcome was born in Wisconsin in 1853 into a family of evangelical ministers of the Second Adventist church who moved to Garden City, Minnesota when Hank was still a boy. The family set up in the pharmaceutical business and young Henry became a ‘snake oil’ salesman as a teenager. He used his profits to travel to London and set up Wellcome pharmacies there [1880], soon becoming “more British than the Brits”, building up his fortunes as a member of the English Grand Lodge of Freemasons. In 1932, Wellcome drafted his will to perpetuate his pharmaceutical enterprize “for centuries to come”, establishing the Wellcome Trust to oversee an alliance of more than 100 subsidiaries which has more funds for R & D than the British government…Henry Wellcome had the peculiarly sadistic habit of liking to flog people, including his wife….

Brian Deer writes that the antibiotic “Septrin was the foundation upon which the Wellcome organization rose….Specialists and researchers who promoted Wellcome drugs often thought they might be helped financially by the Wellcome charity”

In 1984, Burroughs Wellcome made a commitment to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (of the NIH) to develop an anti-AIDS medication, which resulted in the patenting of AZT (azidothymidine), a drug that was first made by Dr. Jerome Horowitz in 1964


Wellcome Trust is a major partner in USDept of Energy Human Genome Project,



1830 – John K. Smith opens a Philadelphia pharmacy; joined in 1865 by Mahlon Kline. In 1875 they rename the company Smith, Kline & Co. 1891, SK&Co. merges with French, Richard & Co. and the name is changed to Smith, Kline & French in 1929 as research becomes the focus of the enterprise and the partners acquire Norden Laboratories (veterinary meds). In 1963, SK&F buy out Recherche et Industrie Therapeutiques in Belgium adding vaccines to the product line. 1969, SK&F buys 7 laboratories in the US and Canada. 1982, acquires the eye and skin products company Allergan and merges with Beckman Instruments, changing the name to Smith, Kline & Beckman. In 1989, SK&B bought out Beecham, plc, and moved its headquarters to London.

1843 – Thomas Beecham launches “Beecham’s Pills” laxative; opens a factory in 1859.

1880 – Henry Wellcome founds Burroughs-Wellcome in London. In 1902, establishes the Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratories. Henry Wellcome died in 1936, but through the Wellcome Trust, business continues expanding. 1959, Burroughs-Wellcome acquired McDougall & Robertson, Inc (veterinary med.) In 1970, the headquarters moved from New York to North Carolina where the US division is located today, in Research Triangle Park, Durham/Raleigh. 

1904 – “Glaxo” was founded in Bunnythorpe, New Zealand as a baby-food maker and milk processor. 1935, opened laboratory units in London and began a string of acquisitions which grew the company to prominence in the US market with the buy-out of Meyer Laboratories in 1978. In 1983, Glaxo moved the headquarters to Research Triangle Park, as subsequently merged with Burroughs-Wellcome in 1995, changing its name to GlaxoWellcome. In 1998, GlaxoWellcome bought Polfa Poznan Co. in Poland.

In 2000, GlaxoWellcome merged with Smith-Kline-Beecham creating the megacorporation of GSK, in 70 countries; employs over 110,000 people –40,000 employees are devoted to sales. The consumer products division is based in Pittsburg, PA. and 45% of GSK revenues come from the USA.



Written by citizen2009

November 16, 2009 at 10:40 pm

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