G.D. Searle, LLC

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G.D. Searle, LLC
TypeSubsidiary of Pfizer
Founded1888; 133 years ago (1888) (as G. D. Searle & Company)
FounderGideon Daniel Searle
HeadquartersNew York City, United States
ProductsPharmaceutical products

G.D. Searle, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer.[1] It is currently used mainly as a distribution trademark for various pharmaceuticals that were developed by G. D. Searle & Company (often referred to as Searle). Prior to its 1985 merger with Monsanto, Searle was a company focusing on life sciences, specifically pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and animal health.

Searle is most notable for having developed the first female birth control pill, and the artificial sweetener NutraSweet.


In 1888 (133 years ago) (1888), Gideon Daniel Searle founded Searle in Omaha, Nebraska.[citation needed]

In 1908, the company was incorporated in Chicago.[citation needed]

In 1941, the company established headquarters in Skokie, Illinois.[citation needed]

Between 1977 and 1985, Donald Rumsfeld served as CEO, and then as president, of Searle. During his tenure, Rumsfeld reduced the number of employees in the company by 60%. In 1985, he engineered the acquisition of Searle by Monsanto Corporation.[2]

Starting in 1979,[clarification needed] Robert B. Shapiro acted as general counsel for the firm, where developing Searle's aspartame product under the brand name NutraSweet. He became CEO of the NutraSweet subsidiary in 1982.[citation needed]

Until 1985,[clarification needed] Searle's chairman was William L. Searle. He was a University of Michigan graduate and Naval reservist, and he had been an officer in the Army Corps in the early 1950s.[3]

In 1993, a team of researchers at Searle Research and Development filed a patent application for celecoxib,[4] which Searle developed and which became the first selective COX-2 inhibitor to be approved by the FDA on December 31, 1998.[5] Control of this blockbuster drug was often mentioned as a key reason for Pfizer's acquisition of Pharmacia.[6]

In April 2000, Pharmacia Corporation was created by merging Pharmacia & Upjohn (which had come about as the result of an earlier merger of the companies Pharmacia and Upjohn) with Monsanto and its Searle unit.[2] The merged company was based in Peapack, New Jersey.[citation needed]

In 2003, Pfizer acquired Pharmacia and retired the Searle name.[citation needed]

Notable products[edit]

The company manufactured prescription drugs and nuclear medicine imaging equipment. Searle is known for its release of Enovid, the first commercial oral contraceptive, in 1960. It is also known for its release of the first bulk laxative, Metamucil, in 1934; Dramamine, for motion sickness; the COX-2 inhibitors Celebrex and Bextra; Ambien for insomnia; and NutraSweet (also known as aspartame), an artificial sweetener, in 1965. It was released in 1981 by FDA.[citation needed]

In 1996, the FDA removed all restrictions on the use of aspartame, which enabled its use in heated and baked goods. G. D. Searle's patent on aspartame was extended in 1981 and ultimately expired in December 1992.[7]


  1. ^ "Pharmacia Merger". Pfizer. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Pharmacia, Monsanto Merger Okd". Chicago Tribune. March 24, 2000.
  3. ^ Death Notice: William L. Searle The New York Times August 22, 2004.
  4. ^ "Substituted pyrazolyl benzenesulfonamides". Google Patents. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  5. ^ "Drug Approval Package: Celebrex (Celecoxib) NDA# 20-998". Food and Drug Administration.
  6. ^ Frank, Robert; Scott Hensley (July 16, 2002). "Pfizer to Buy Pharmacia For $60 Billion in Stock". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ Martin, Michael J. C. (September 16, 1994). Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Technology-based Firms. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 18–22. ISBN 978-0471572190.

External links[edit]