Dompé’s pharmaceutical story starts with the young Piedmontese Onorato. After having studied pharmacy and chemistry at the Royal University in Turin, he opens a production lab in Milan, the Dompé-Adami.
Onorato acquires one of the oldest pharmacies in Milan, the Farmacia Centrale in Piazza della Scala. His father Gian Antonio, a pharmaceutical chemistry expert, helps him running and funding the business.
1902 - 1908
Onorato Dompé acquires three other pharmacies in Palermo, Milan and Ponte Chiasso (Switzerland), launching the chain Farmacie Inglesi Dompé. A forward thinker from the very beginning, he produces his drugs according to the innovative British school. In Ponte Chiasso, moreover, he opens another production plant.
Onorato moves his fast-growing production lab from Corso San Celso to via Pantano 5, close to the Ca’ Granda, Milan’s main hospital (today’s Policlinico).
Onorato Dompé decides to focus on the production side of the business: after having sold his four pharmacies, he purchases a big building in via San Martino 12, and moves there his lab and family. This address is still home to the Milanese headquarters of Dompé farmaceutici.
The son of Onorato, Franco Dompé, follows in his father’s footsteps. After his degree in chemistry and pharmacy at the University of Pavia, he sets up his own production lab in Milan, in via Bocconi 9: it’s the beginning of Dompé farmaceutici.
1943 - 1944
During WWII, Onorato’s and Franco’s businesses struggle to survive. In 1943, the production plant in via San Martino is severely damaged by the British Royal Air Force’s bombing offensive. On top of that, the following year, the Germans seize a huge amount of material from the building’s warehouse.
The 35-year old Franco Dompé decides to take on the reconstruction works of his father’s building and to move there his own business.
In the Post-War years, Dompé farmaceutici starts producing drugs on an industrial scale. Patents didn’t exist at the time, and, as a consequence, most of the companies were coping drugs from each other. Dompé farmaceutici doesn’t join this trend and focuses its investments on research and innovation.
The new rationalist building in via San Martino opens its doors in January: its 15.000 m2 production plant hosts innovative machineries for the production of medicines in vials. These are going to play a major role in the company’s expansion.
The company sponsors the VII Olympic Winter Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Dompé provides to the athletes racing on the slopes the necessary medication, which is transported on 28 branded vans.
Franco Dompé launches his 10thproduct: pi-Acca 4, an antispasmodic to treat abdominal pain.
Dompé farmaceutici makes its big screen debut in the Oscar winning movie by Vittorio De Sica, Ieri, Oggi, Domani. It's impossible to forget the sequence where Sophia Loren tries to give to one of her children the cough syrup Guaiacalcium.
1970s - 1980s
The son of Franco, Sergio Dompé, joins the company and defines the new business strategy: increase the company’s investment in research, focus on innovation, and build partnerships with key international players.
Sergio is aware of the key role of biotechnology within the pharmaceutical industry, and its poor limited application in Italy. This leads him to setup Dompé Biotec, a company with the goal to bring to market biotechnological products, mainly developed in USA. The company will become a reference point for biotechnological innovation in Europe.
Dompé opens its own research and biopharmaceutical production plant at L’Aquila (160.000 m2). From its opening year to 2018, € 200 million will be invested in the hub.
A biotech plant is built in L’Aquila to produce on an industrial scale the recombinant human Nerve Growth Factor (rhNGF), a biotechnological molecule for the treatment of neurotrophic keratitis, a rare neurodegenerative eye disease.
The synthesis of Reparixin, a non-competitive allosteric inhibitor of CXCR1 and CXCR2, is carried out for the very first time. This event has a great impact on the scientific community: a wide range of international researches kicks off.
Biogen Idec and Dompé farmaceutici form Biogen Dompé, a joint venture with the mission to identify new biotechnological solutions for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Amgen Dompé is established, a joint venture between Amgen and Dompé farmaceutici focusing on the development of drugs for oncology and nephrology.
Dompé launches its Q-rare department with the goal to offer innovative solutions for the treatment of rare diseases that still have no cure.
Dompé acquires the rights to develop, produce and market the Nerve Growth Factor protein (NGF). It’s the first therapeutic application of the studies carried out by Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi Montalcini. Dompé also acquires more than 30% of Philogen, a biotech company focused on the development of oncological drugs.
Dompé expands its biotech plant in L’Aquila, therefore increasing its research and production capacity.
The first international clinical trial of rhNGF kicks off: 37 European research centers are involved. The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) designates “orphan drug” the rhNGF.
Dompé acquires the pharma division of the pharmaceutical company Gruppo Bracco.
Dompé launches its Primary unit, which develops and distributes ethical and OTC drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices and cosmetics. Moreover, EMA’s Committee for Human Medicinal Products (CHMP) and the European Commission authorize the marketing of rhNGF-based eye drops.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes the marketing of rhNGF-based eye drops in USA. The innovative scope of this therapeutic solution is proven by FDA’s designation as “Breaktrough Therapy”.
The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) authorizes the marketing of rhNGF in China.