Zentiva’s origins can be traced back to the 15th Century Black Eagle pharmacy, or "U cerného orla", in Prague. It is one of the oldest in the Czech Republic.
The pharmacy was acquired by the Benjamin Fragner and his son Karel, who built a pharmaceutical plant on the outskirts of Prague. It was here that Zentiva’s current headquarters and production facilities were later built.
The company starts production at a plant in a village called Dolní Mecholupy. It was aptly named the “Benjamin Fragner plant.”
After closing of Czech universities at the height of World War II, the plant becomes, thanks to the efforts of the owner, a sanctuary to many prominent experts in the field of pharmacology and pharmaceutical research flourished.
The government takes ownership of Zentiva and the plant at Dolní Mecholupy becomes part of SPOFA (United Pharmaceutical Works), which led pharmaceutical production in Czechoslovakia at the time. The business had 750 employees.
Zentiva receives its first manufacturing practices certificate under the WHO standards for the production of antibiotics. Zentiva is the first manufacturer in the Czech Republic to receive certification.
The expansion program was completed in 1979 and led to the construction of modern production facilities complete with state-of-the-art equipment. The new, enlarged plant resulted in a huge increase in production.
Zentiva management together with the private group, Warburg Pincus Funds, acquires majority shares in the company. This starts a new phase in the company’s development based on a branded generic medicines strategy. Investments are made in new facilities, research and development, and the company introduces a portfolio of modern and branded generic medicines.
The firm delists from the Prague Stock Exchange (Burza cenných papíru Praha).
Zentiva begins its expansion into Central and Eastern Europe (Russia and Poland) and buys Slovakofarma, the leading pharmaceutical company in Slovakia. The Zentiva brand is now sold in Europe, Russia, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East.
Zentiva becomes the first initial public offering (IPO) on the Prague Stock Exchange.
Zentiva acquires Sicomed, the leading generic medicine producer in Romania.
Sanofi claims 24.9% of Zentiva’s stock, becoming its largest shareholder.
Sanofi takes full ownership of Zentiva and the latter becomes an important part of Sanofi’s strategy as a diversified global healthcare provider focusing on the needs of patients.
Zentiva acquires Eczacibasi Generic Pharmaceuticals, a leading pharmaceutical company in Turkey.
The Zentiva brand is launched in France, Italy, UK, Portugal and Germany.
The Zentiva team coordinates the portfolio with new product development and regulatory processes.
Zentiva enters new markets in Africa and the Middle East.