Geistlich Pharma has been family-owned since 1851. It all began with a glue producing company in Zürich. From bone and tissue specialists to internationally renowned regeneration experts: a history in four chapters.
Expertise since 1851
Since 1851 the family-owned company has been processing raw materials in Zürich, the same materials as it makes today: bone and skin. Then glue was produced, first in Zürich and later in Schlieren in the canton of Zürich. Organic fertilizer was later added to the product list. The DNA of Geistlich Pharma’s three current business units came about from this. All three units developed from the processing of bone and tissue.
The door to the pharmaceutical industry opens
During the Second World War, Geistlich Pharma’s expertise was in high demand: from the 1940s onwards, its nutritional replacement product alleviated osteoporosis in the destitute population. This product marked the company’s entrance into the pharmaceutical industry. In the 1950s, Geistlich expanded abroad for the first time: the company established its first affiliates in the UK (Geistlich Sons Ltd.) and Germany.
Further products were added to the product range, including gelatin, which was produced until 2002, and cosmetics. It stopped producing cosmetics in the 1980s. Its pharmaceutical products such as Taurolin® and the medical device TauroSept® are still produced today.
Dr. Peter Geistlich – the pioneer of regenerative biomaterials
Dr. Peter Geistlich, President of the Administrative Board, laid the foundation stone of today’s company. He had a vision, which he knew how to fulfill with his passion for science: natural bone and tissue regeneration using regenerative biomaterials. He did exactly what Geistlich still does today: he cooperated with international researchers, in particular Prof. Dr. Philip Boyne from Loma Linda University in California. His pioneering work in bone regeneration led to the development of the bone substitute Geistlich Bio-Oss®. As a pioneer, he developed a market for regenerative dentistry in the 1980s, which has taken on global dimensions today. He also launched Geistlich Orthoss®, the bone substitute for use in orthopedic bone defects. In the 1990s, further pioneering products came on the market: Geistlich Bio-Gide®, a collagen membrane for use in dentistry, and Chondro-Gide®, a collagen matrix for the regeneration of cartilage defects.
From pioneer to leading global regeneration expert
The pioneering role of Geistlich as a creator and designer of a new business area paid off. Today, the company sets the standard for regenerative dentistry, the area in which it has been world leader for decades. It expertise is continually expanding. With scientific evidence to support it, the company continues to enter further areas such as orthopedics and medicine.
Until his death in 2014, Dr. Peter Geistlich led Geistlich Pharma as President of the Administrative Board. His foresight and values still shape the company today.
In the 1980s, Dr. Peter Geistlich had the vision to invest in regenerative biomaterials to enable natural bone and tissue regeneration.
A developing network of expertise
Dr. Peter Geistlich created a new business area within the Geistlich Group and heralded a new era. His name still vouches for the quality of Geistlich products. There is no doubt that his philosophy and pioneering spirit still shape the company today. He did pioneering work in the area of bone regeneration in cooperation with international researchers, in particular Prof. Dr. Philip J. Boyne from Loma Linda University in California. One of his many achievements is to have been the first to free bone material from organic components, while preserving the natural microstructure and bone composition. In so doing, he laid the foundation stone for the development of the bone substitute Geistlich Bio-Oss®.
Dr. Peter Geistlich then developed the natural collagen membrane Geistlich Bio-Gide®, which enables a simple surgical procedure thanks to its good wound-healing properties and fundamentally changed bone regeneration treatment. Since the days of Dr. Peter Geistlich, the company has continued the approach of science-based development in cooperation with universities and clinical practitioners, for both existing products and all new developments.
Practice and science combined
In 2003, Dr. Peter Geistlich founded the Osteology Foundation together with Geistlich Pharma AG. This promoted teaching and research, and brought science and practice in the field of bone and soft tissue regeneration closer together. In 2013, Dr. Peter Geistlich and Geistlich Pharma launched the Osteo Science Foundation based in the US. Its declared goal is to support independent basic and applied research and enable new therapeutic approaches and clinical treatment methods in regenerative dentistry. The aim is to promote and share newly acquired knowledge. Quite within the spirit of Dr. Peter Geistlich, Geistlich Pharma founded the ON Foundation in 2017 in the area of orthoregeneration.
The three foundations which Geistlich Pharma helped found: