Pharmacia & Upjohn

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Pharmacia & Upjohn
FateAcquired by Pfizer
FoundedMerger of Pharmacia AB & The Upjohn Company

Pharmacia & Upjohn was a global pharmaceutical company formed by the merger of Sweden-based Pharmacia AB and the American company Upjohn in 1995.[1] Today the remainder of the company is owned by Pfizer. In 1997, Pharmacia & Upjohn sold several brands to Johnson & Johnson, including Motrin and Cortaid.



In 1997 the biotechnology division of the company Pharmacia Biotech merged with Amersham Life Science with the new merged entity being known as Amersham Pharmacia Biotech. The Pharmacia name was later dropped when Pharmacia & Upjohn sold its share of the company to Amersham plc, with the company being renamed Amersham Biosciences in 2001. In 2004 Amersham Biosciences was acquired by GE Healthcare. The Life sciences division of GE Healthcare still has its headquarters in Uppsala.

In 1999, the nutrition division of the company was sold to Fresenius.


Monsanto acquired the pharmaceutical company G. D. Searle & Company in 1985. A decade later the revamped subsidiary Searle and the Monsanto Pharma Sector invented and developed celecoxib. Branded as Celebrex, celecoxib is an anti-inflammatory drug that became widely used soon after its approval by the FDA at the end of 1998.[2] In December 1999 Pharmacia & Upjohn merged with the American biotechnology and medical company, Monsanto and renamed itself Pharmacia; the company retained Monsanto's pharmaceutical division - then known as Searle - and spun off the remaining interests (mainly agriculture and biotechnological assets), which became known as the "new Monsanto".[3][4] The newly merged entity then changed its name again, being known as Pharmacia Corp.


In July 2002, Pharmacia Corp. and Pfizer announced an agreement that Pfizer would purchase Pharmacia; control of celecoxib was often mentioned as a key reason for Pfizer's acquisition of Pharmacia.[5] The deal was finalized in April 2003.[6]

Later developments[edit]

  • The remnant of the Stockholm-based part of Pharmacia was partly spun off to Biovitrum in 2001, which sold off its plasma products division to Octapharma in 2002.
  • In 2004, the allergy-diagnostic division of Pharmacia was sold off as Pharmacia Diagnostics. Later in 2004, the Uppsala-based ophthalmology division was sold to Advanced Medical Optics.
  • On January 16, 2006, Pharmacia Diagnostics announced that its name had changed to Phadia, which has ended the use of the Pharmacia trademark. The remnant of Pharmacia was sold to the Indian company Kemwell in 2006. The rest was moved to Belgium in 2008. The company's facilities in Strängnäs Sweden are currently being expanded for the production of Genotropin, a growth hormone.


The following is an illustration of the company's mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs and historical predecessors:

Pharmacia Corp.
Acquired by Pfizer, 2002
Pharmacia & Upjohn
(Merged 1995)
Kabi Pharmacia
Pharmacia Biotech

LKB-produkter AB
(Acq 1968)

PL Laboratories

Kabi Vitrum
(Acq 1990)

(Acq 1993)

(Merged 1995)



G. D. Searle & Company
(Acq 1985)


  1. ^ "Upjohn Company". 7 May 2006.
  2. ^ "Drug Approval Package: Celebrex (Celecoxib) NDA# 20-998".
  3. ^ "Monsanto Raises $700 Million in IPO". Los Angeles Times. October 18, 2000.
  4. ^ "Monsanto and Pharmacia to Join, Creating a Pharmaceutical Giant", New York Times, December 20, 1999, retrieved 28 December 2015
  5. ^ Andrew Ross Sorkin for the New York Times, July 15, 2002. Pfizer Said To Buy Large Drug Rival In $60 Billion Deal
  6. ^ Staff, CNN/Money. April 16, 2003 It's official: Pfizer buys Pharmacia