History

Dompe

Gian Antonio Dompé is born in Bene Vagienna, Italy. From early childhood, he has a passion for chemical and pharmaceutical sciences, which is to lead him and his family into this business adventure.



Gregor Mendel, an Austrian Friar – known as the Father of Genetics – publishes the principles of inheritance that describes the transmission of genetic traits. This work is rediscovered in the early twentieth century, reviving interest in his discoveries.

Credit to: NIH

Louis Pasteur develops a vaccine against rabies by selecting mutants of the virus that show reduced virulence to humans and animals.

Credit to: Paul Nadar

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Onorato Dompé (Gian Antonio's son) and his partner, Paolo Adami, found the Dompé-Adami laboratory in via Pantano, Milan, near the main city hospital Ca' Granda.

Onorato had previously studied chemistry and pharmacy at the Royal University of Turin and spent time in London,.

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Onorato purchases the Farmacia Centrale located in piazza della Scala - possibly the most important pharmacy in Milan. Over the following years he expands, establishing pharmacies in piazza Missori, Milan, Palermo and Ponte Chiasso, Switzerland.

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Onorato founds the Farmacie italo-inglesi, which operates according to British standards.

Their galenic formulations leads to a transformation in how pharmacies are run and a chain of shops are established in major cities across Italy.

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Il laboratorio Dompé-Adami si ingrandisce e si trasferisce in nuovi locali in via Pantano 5, nelle immediate vicinanze del principale ospedale di Milano, la Ca’ Granda.

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Onorato acquires a building in via San Martino 12, Milan. He lives here for the rest of his life, with his family and company, conducting experiments on new pharmaceutical preparations.

Alexander Fleming, while working on a bacterium deemed a potential cause of influenza, notices a white halo in a culture medium that has been left unattended for a few days.

This is the discovery of penicillin and the start of the age of antibiotics.

Credit to: Official photographer

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Onorato’s son Franco Dompé starts to turn his father's work into an industry, following his graduation in 1936 in Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Pavia. He establishes a laboratory in Via Bocconi 9, Milan. This is the start of Dompé farmaceutici.

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Franco's company continues to grow despite the war, and he moves the company to via San Martino 12, the company’s current headquarters in Milan.

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Dompé pharmaceuticals becomes known for the production of medicines in vials, establishing a major production plant, inaugurated in the presence of Monsignor Ildefonso Schuster, Cardinal of Milan.

James Dewey Watson and Francis Crick identify the ‘double helix’ structure of DNA.
They receive the Nobel Prize in 1962.

Credit to: Marjorie McCarty

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The company sponsors and provides medical services to the Cortina d'Ampezzo Olympics. Over the following decades, innovative marketing includes launching promotional sea cruises for doctors and the concept of ‘product placement’ by arranging for Guaiacalcium cough medicine to be featured in a movie directed by Vittorio De Sica.

Har Gobind Khorana and Marshall Warren Nirenberg decipher the language of the DNA genetic code through groups of three bases (triplets). They are both awarded the Nobel Prize in 1968.

Credit to: Khorana - See page for author
Nirenberg - MacVicar, N. - National Institutes of Health

In Britain, the first baby is born from test tube fertilization.

Charles Weissmann and his team manage to produce a drug, called interferon, from bacteria.

Credit to: Hans van Dijk / Anefo / CC0

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Sergio Dompé launches the company’s new strategy: investment in research and a focus on targeted therapeutic areas, covering anti-inflammatory, osteoarticular and respiratory areas.

Rita Levi Montalcini receives the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).

Credit to: "Presidenza della Repubblica"

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Dompé Biotec is born, a center of reference in Italy and Europe for biotechnological innovation.

In the United States, the first-ever gene therapy treatment is performed on a child with an enzyme deaminase deficiency. Two years later, a similar treatment will be administered in Italy.

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The Dompé production hub is launched in L’Aquila, Italy, specializing in the production of oral, liquid and granular formulations, ensuring national and international supplies of proprietary products.

Dolly, the first sheep cloned by inserting the nucleus of an adult sheep breast cell into an egg, is born at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh.

Credit to: Toni Barros, Brasil
CC BY-SA 2.0

DNA reading is completed as part of the Human Genome Project.

Credit to: U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome Project

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In L’Aquila, Dompé creates a biotech plant for the production of recombinant proteins in the treatment of rare diseases.

On the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize, the American scientist, Leland H. Hartwell and the British scientists R. Timothy Hunt and Paul M. Nurse, receive the Prize for Medicine for their discovery of some key factors in cell cycle regulation.

Credit to: Masur CC BY-SA 4.0 /Ryoko Mandeville on behalf of Paul Nurse CC BY-SA 3.0

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In Italy, Biogen Dompé, a joint venture between Biogen Idec and Dompé, is entirely dedicated to finding new therapeutic solutions for multiple sclerosis. Its goal is to offer innovative biotechnology drugs with a high therapeutic profile.

Craig Venter and his collaborators make a complete test tube DNA, soon followed by the first transplantation of genetic material from one mycoplasma to another species.

Credit to: Steve Jurvetson
CC BY 2.0 Attribution 2.0 Generic

The procedure for reprogramming skin cells is made safe: they are transformed into stem cells without resorting to cloning or destroying embryos. Progress is also made in the gene therapy of Leber's congenital amaurosis, a severe eye disease.

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Amgen Dompé is established, a joint venture between Amgen and Dompé, focused on the development of drugs for oncology and nephrology.

Nature magazine publishes research on the effects of Rapamycin, a drug that acts on the metabolism and has an anti-aging effect.

Credit to: Ben Mills

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Dompé creates the Q-rare division, with the goal of offering innovative therapeutic solutions for the treatment of diseases that are still without a cure.

Craig Venter creates ‘artificial life’ - a cell made from synthetic DNA - a bacterium with lab-made DNA, which can replicate itself.

Credit to: Mauricio Ramirez
CC BY-SA 3.0

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Dompé acquires the rights to develop, produce and market the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) protein for the treatment of neurotrophic keratitis, a rare eye disease.

This is the first therapeutic application from the studies that won Rita Levi Montalcini the Nobel Prize.

Dompé also acquires more than 30% of Philogen, a biotech company involved in the development of oncological drugs

A study demonstrates that 96% of HIV-positive individuals are less likely to transmit HIV through sexual intercourse when taking medication.

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Dompé increases potential for biotechnology research and production with the expansion of the L’Aquila biotech plant

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A study shows that embryonic stem cells in mice enable surrogate mothers to give birth to offspring.

Researchers at the University of Washington show that by using a maternal blood sample and a paternal saliva sample, the entire genome of the fetus can be predicted.

The death of Rita Levi Montalcini in Rome, age 103, is announced.

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Dompé opens new headquarters in Milan and completes the acquisition of Anabasis - the Italian company developing innovative treatments for eye diseases based on studies on NGF.

Phase III clinical trials in Europe and the US begin to assess Reparixin’s effectiveness in improving the efficiency of pancreatic island allogeneic transplantation.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine is awarded to biologists James Rothman, Randy Schekman and Thomas Südhof for the discovery of the mechanism that transports molecules within cells.

The British Royal Society, forecasts that scientific production in China will exceed that of the US by the end of the year - seven years ahead of previous estimates.

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The first international phase I/II clinical trial of the use of recombinant human NGF in the treatment of neurotrophic keratitis is started. 37 European centres are involved.

Dompé announces that rhNGF has been designated an orphan drug for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A phase II/III study is started to assess the efficacy and safety profile of Reparixin in autologous pancreatic islet transplantation. The trial is conducted in the US.

Fabiola Gianotti is nominated Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, (CERN) in Geneva - the first woman ever to hold this position in the 60-year history of the organization.

Genetic engineering synthesizes an artificial bacterium with two extra molecules in nucleic acids, called X and Y. The two new ‘letters’ can be used to lab-create proteins with new amino acids.

Credit to: Maximilien Brice
CC BY-SA 4.0

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Enrolment of Dompé’s first Phase III trial with Reparixin for patients undergoing pancreatic islet transplantations is closed.

Dompé launches a New York subsidiary to coordinate the research and development into new drugs for the treatment of pathologies in ophthalmology, oncology and transplantation.

A vaccine that is 100 percent effective against the Ebola virus is released. This is tested on more than four thousand people in Guinea Concry - one of the countries with widespread infection. Adopting a ‘ring’ strategy, the vaccine is also given to people who have recently been diagnosed with the virus.

Lymphatic tissue is detected in the brain. This ground-breaking discovery shows the existence of the immune system at brain level – a massive leap forward for neuroscience.

Images of Pluto, taken by Nasa’s New Horizonsprobe, are released.

Credit to: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) Orphan Drugs Committee designates Dompe’s experimental biotechnology molecule rhNGF, developed as an orphan drug for the treatment of neurotrophic keratitis.

Enrolment starts for phase II of the clinical trial of fRida in patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer.


Scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detect for the first time the presence of gravitational waves, the ripples that form in the space-time tissue when two masses approach each other by rotating quickly around each other. This is an extremely important discovery, as it experimentally confirms what a century earlier Albert Einstein had predicted in his Theory of General Relativity.

Solar Impulse, the first aircraft exclusively powered by photovoltaic panels mounted on the wings, lands in Abu Dhabi. The round-the-world flight of almost 42,000 kilometers includes a five-day none-stop crossing over the Pacific Sea.

Credit to: Matth1
CC BY-SA 3.0

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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approves the request for authorisation to market Cenegermin eye drops (Oxervate®), developed for the treatment of moderate and severe neurotrophic keratitis in adults.

Dompé takes over the Pharma division of Gruppo farmaceutico Bracco.

The FDA approves the use of wearable devices and sensors for 24-hour health monitoring. Devices collect data to share with the patient’s medical centre. This is sent to smartphones and then redirected to the ‘cloud’, which uses software and analytics to send feedback to the user - an important step forward towards ‘digital health’.

Credit to: David Baillot
CC BY 2.0

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Dompé launches Dompé Primary, to develop and distribute ethical drugs and OTC products, dietary supplements, medical devices and cosmetics in a number of therapeutic fields - cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, paediatric, neurological, endocrinological, urological, ophthalmic, stomatological and respiratory diseases - and in the areas of integration of vitamins and minerals and of personal hygiene.

In July, the European Commission authorizes marketing of rhNGF-based eye drops. This is the first biotech drug authorized for the treatment of a rare ophthalmic disease.

Dompe’ innovation in rhNGF is granted Fast Track, Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Priority Review statuses by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).




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In August, the FDA authorizes the commercialization of the drug in the US.

Dompé Farmaceutici S.p.A. Single shareholder company / Share capital € 50.000.000,00
REA MI 289519 - A registered company in Milan, Italy / Tax code and VAT number IT00791570153