Our History and Heritage

LEO Pharma’s core values - Integrity, Customer focus, Innovation, Passion and Adaptability - have been at the heart of LEO Pharma since our founding in Denmark over 110 years ago. By translating these values into reality, LEO Pharma has developed into a world leader in dermatology (skin) and thrombosis (blood clots) through the development of innovative treatments and patient-focused offerings to improve the lives of millions around the world. 

In 1908 two pharmacists, August Kongsted and Anton Antons, purchased a pharmacy in Copenhagen, Denmark, naming it ‘Københavns Løveapoteks kemiske Fabrik’. Later changing the name to LEO Pharma, Kongsted and Anton’s pharmacy grew from humble beginnings to the global organisation that it is today.

History and Heritage LEO Pharmacy

Following early successes in innovative medical production across a wide range of therapeutic areas between the 1930s and 1940s, LEO Pharma began to focus on improving the lives of people living with dermatology (skin) and thrombotic (blood clot) conditions from the mid-1940s onwards. Today, LEO Pharma employs over 5,000 colleagues helping people around the world enjoy a healthier and greater quality of life.

LEO Pharma started to expand outside of Scandinavia during the 1950s and 1960s and the LEO Pharma logo was first registered in 1956.

History and Heritage LEO Sign

The Company established its UK presence in 1960, with a focus on improving patient quality of life and medical education programmes. This focus continues today, from our modern Berkshire offices. 

In 1959, LEO Pharma’s commercial organisation in Ireland was set up as well as the manufacturing site in Dublin, Ireland. Development continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s and a topical dermatological plant was completed in 1992. Enhancements to the Dublin site, including further expansion of the topical dermatological plant, have continued since, with a new sterile facility being completed in 2008. Elsewhere in Ireland, an anticoagulation plant in Cork was build in 1987, which continues to play a key role in production. 

LEO Pharma UK and LEO Pharma Ireland united as a joint LEO Pharma UK/IE commercial affiliate in 2012.

Further information about LEO Pharma’s history can be found on our global website.