Richter Gedeon Chemical Factory
At turn of the 19th–20th century the development of the research of synthetic chemistry and the examination of the curative effect of materials by means of animal experiments gave a great stimulus to pharmaceutical production. The plant was built in 1907 in the Kőbánya suburb of Budapest. The main profile of the Richter's enterprise was the production of organotherapic materials. At the beginning his medicaments were made of the dried powder of animal organs. The other important group of medicaments was constituted by the extracts of medicinal herbs, and they were also engaged in the production of synthetic agents.
In the years after World War I important medical and therapeutic inventions were published one after the other, a series of vitamins and hormones were determined. For measuring the biological value of the new substances a laboratory was set up in the early 1920's. Independent pharmaceutical research and production activities were launched in Hungary in those days.
In order to promote the developing export, in 1923 Richter transformed his enterprise in personal property into a joint stock corporation and founded foreign affiliated companies The operation of the research laboratory started in the 1920's resulted in the introduction of new synthetic agents produced with chemical processes. In 1927 there were both a chemical, pharmacological and analytical laboratory and an experimental plant in one of Budapest's suburb Kőbánya.
Between the two world wars hormone products patented under the Hormo-Gland Richter brand name were remarkably successful and the company also introduced a number of vitamins in the market. In 1936 the factory had 9 plant divisions and 5 scientific departments. In the period between 1906 and 1948 the company obtained 86 patents.
The plants were heavily damaged during World War II and the staff of specialists also suffered significant losses. After the quick restoration, by the end of 1945 the factory could operate again normally, but in the after-war period the production of many previously imported agents had to be solved, too. A laboratory of phytochemistry and biochemistry was established for research work. After the end of the war the company lost its Western European export markets and its subsidiary companies and in 1948 the plant was nationalized under the new name "Kőbánya Pharmaceutical Factory" (Kőbányai Gyógyszerárugyár) maintaining its joint stock corporation character. In the interest of selling the products successfully introduced abroad they kept the firm name „Gedeon Richter Ltd.” in this field.
In the first half of the 1950's quick development started, new plants were built, the production of new effective agents was realised. The company made a very good use of its skills and expertise in pharmaceutical production and developed a range of cosmetics that were marketed under the "Fabulon" brand name as well as the new "Richtofit" range of products using extracts from herbs. In 1977 the researchers of the company discovered an original product Cavinton, a cerebral enhancer (active substance: vinpocetine).
Even in the 1990's the firm maintained its distinguished place in Hungarian pharmaceutical production. Since November 1st, 1990 it has been operating again under the name „Richter Gedeon Chemical Factory Ltd.”