Pharmacia & Upjohn

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

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.[2][3] In 2001, the company was renamed Amersham Biotech.[4] In 2002, Pharmacia sold its share of the company to Amersham plc.[5][6] In 2004, Amersham Biosciences was acquired by GE Healthcare.[7]

In 1998, the nutrition division of the company was sold to Fresenius.[8]


Monsanto acquired the pharmaceutical company G. D. Searle & Company in 1985.[9] In 1998, Searle and the Monsanto Pharma Sector partnered with Pfizer to develop and promote celecoxib, an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat arthritis.[10][11] Branded as Celebrex, celecoxib was approved by the FDA in 1998.[12] In December 1999, Pharmacia & Upjohn merged with the American biotechnology and medical company, Monsanto and renamed itself Pharmacia.[13] The company retained Monsanto's pharmaceutical division - then known as Searle - and spun off the remaining interests as the "new Monsanto".[14][15] The newly merged pharmaceutical entity changed its name to Pharmacia Corp.[16]


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.[17] The deal was finalized in April 2003.[18]

Later developments[edit]

  • The remnant of the Stockholm-based part of Pharmacia was partly spun off to Biovitrum in 2001,[19][20] which sold off its plasma products division to Octapharma in 2002.[21]
  • In 2004, the allergy-diagnostic division of Pharmacia was sold off as Pharmacia Diagnostics.[22] Later in 2004, the Uppsala-based ophthalmology division was sold to Advanced Medical Optics.[23]
  • In April 2006, Pharmacia Diagnostics changed its name to Phadia, which ended the use of the Pharmacia trademark.[24] In September, Phadia was acquired by PPM Capital.[24] In April 2006, Indian company Kemwell acquired Pfizer's Uppsala manufacturing plant that used to be under Pharmacia.[25] The company's facilities in Strängnäs Sweden are currently being expanded for the production of Genotropin, a growth hormone.[26]


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. Archived from the original on 2006-05-07.
  2. ^ Newman, Cathy (1997-05-31). "Amersham close to life sciences merger". The Independent. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  3. ^ Stephen, Moore (1997-06-11). "Amersham Merges Division With Pharmacia & Upjohn". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  4. ^ Basar, Shanny (12 March 2002). "Morgan Stanley and Hoare Govett sell £350m Amersham sale". Financial News London. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  5. ^ "Pharmacia Corp selling stake in Amersham Biosciences for $1 billion -". The Pharma Letter. 18 March 2002. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  6. ^ "Amersham buys out bioscience ally". the Guardian. 2002-03-13. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  7. ^ Rovito, Rich (8 April 2004). "GE completes acquisition of Amersham, restructures GE Healthcare". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  8. ^ "INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS; Fresenius of Germany Buying Pharmacia Unit (Published 1998)". The New York Times. 1998-06-09. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  9. ^ Greenhouse, Steven (1985-07-19). "MONSANTO TO ACQUIRE G. D. SEARLE (Published 1985)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  10. ^ "Monsanto's Searle unit developing arthritis drug with Pfizer". St. Louis Business Journal. 18 February 1998.
  11. ^ Langreth, Robert (1998-02-19). "Pfizer to Help Searle Develop, Market Arthritis Drug in Race With Merck, J&J". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  12. ^ "Fast Facts on Bextra and Celebrex". ABC News. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  13. ^ Stein, George; Chase; Brett (1999-12-20). "Pharmacia & Upjohn, Monsanto to Merge in $26.5-Billion Deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  14. ^ "Monsanto Raises $700 Million in IPO". Los Angeles Times. October 18, 2000.
  15. ^ "Monsanto and Pharmacia to Join, Creating a Pharmaceutical Giant", New York Times, December 20, 1999, retrieved 28 December 2015
  16. ^ "Drug cos. to call new firm 'Pharmacia'". CNN Money. 27 January 2000. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  17. ^ Sorkin, Andrew (15 July 2002). "PFIZER SAID TO BUY LARGE DRUG RIVAL IN $60 BILLION DEAL". New York Times.
  18. ^ "It's official: Pfizer buys Pharmacia". 16 April 2003.
  19. ^ "Pharmacia Spins Off Metabolic Disease Business Into Biovitrum + | Bioworld". BioWorld. 8 August 2001. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  20. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; PHARMACIA TO CREATE SEPARATE BIOTECHNOLOGY COMPANY (Published 2001)". The New York Times. 2001-01-13. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  21. ^ Sheridan, Cormac (3 July 2002). "Biovitrum Sells Off Plasma Business To Swiss Company + | Bioworld". BioWorld. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  22. ^ "Pfizer to Sell Diagnostics Unit To Two Firms for $575 Million". Wall Street Journal. 2004-01-20. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  23. ^ "Pfizer sells surgical ophalmics business for $450M - Pharmaceutical in". The Pharma Letter. 25 April 2004. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  24. ^ a b Parkinson, Gary (2006-09-18). "Phadia sale to deepen concerns over private equity debt". The Independent. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  25. ^ "Kemwell acquires Pfizer facility". New Europe. 2006-04-02. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  26. ^ Macdonald, Gareth (25 August 2009). "Pfizer inaugurates new $214m Swedish biotech plant". BioPharma Reporter. Retrieved 2020-11-16.