1962-2022: THE PIERRE FABRE GROUP CELEBRATES ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY
24 May 2022
Castres, May 23, 2022 - Founded on May 30, 1962 in Castres by a young pharmacist, an entrepreneur at heart and a botany enthusiast, the Pierre Fabre Group is preparing to celebrate its 60th anniversary. For six decades, without ever denying its Occitan roots, Pierre Fabre has become a world-class player in oncology, dermatology and dermo-cosmetics. 95% of its industrial production is carried out in France between Tarn, Hérault, Gers, Lot and Loiret regions and more than two thirds is exported to 116 countries.
It all started in a pharmacy located in Place Jean-Jaurès in Castres, birthplace of Pierre Fabre. This is where that young pharmacist, start-upper ahead of his time, developed his first medication in the late 1950s. It was Cyclo 3, a venotonic created from an active ingredient extracted from the roots of a local shrub: butcher’s-broom. Cyclo 3 represented real therapeutic progress for its time.
The enthusiastic reception Cyclo 3 received from patients in his pharmacy convinced Pierre Fabre to found his own company. And that he did on May 30, 1962, the day of the official registration of the Pierre Fabre Laboratories statutes at the Commercial Court of Castres.
As butcher’s-broom remains ever green and leafy in all seasons, so too the Pierre Fabre Group has never stopped developing since 1962. Six decades of innovation for patients and consumers, six decades of working to strengthen the link between medicine and naturalness, six decades of radiating throughout the world while remaining faithful to our region of origin. We are proud of our Group's history, rich in the humanist values instilled by our founder. He was a visionary who understood well ahead of his time that there is no worthwhile progress without respect for Nature and People.
In 2021, Pierre Fabre achieved sales of 2.5 billion euros, divided between Medicinal products (45%) and Dermo-cosmetics (55%), two thirds of which were generated outside France. This international influence does not prevent the Group from making "Made in France" a strategic priority. More than 95% of our products are manufactured by the Group in 7 plants located in the French departments of the Tarn, the Hérault, the Gers, the Lot and the Loiret. Pierre Fabre employs 5,300 people in France (out of 9,600 in total). 68% are based in Occitanie – Southern France - where the Group concentrates its main decision-making centers and makes significant investments every year.
60 years after its creation and the launch of Cyclo 3, Pierre Fabre has achieved 62% of its sales with products whose active ingredients are derived from nature. 75% of the plants we use are cultivated without phytosanitary treatments (of which nearly half are organic). The Group cultivates its own 181 hectares of organic farmland in the Tarn. Each year, its researchers develop between 3 and 5 new organic plant-based active ingredients or eco-extracts.
60 YEARS OF INNOVATION AT THE CROSSROADS OF MEDICINE EXPERTISE AND NATURALNESS
To commemorate the Group's 60th anniversary, let's go back in time and relive a few key moments in our history.
1951 – A force to be reckoned with...
At the age of 25, Pierre Fabre made a decision that would change his life: he obtained a bank loan to open a pharmacy in his hometown in the Tarn. In 1958, the pharmacist developed Cyclo 3, based on the local butcher’s-broom shrub, to help his patients fight against their problems of heavy legs and blood circulation. The success of Cyclo 3 allowed Pierre Fabre to found his own company in 1962. This man, a visionary, was extremely proactive and took care of everything. He visited manufacturers to check the manufacturing conditions of the plant extract. And he also went on the road with his product in his briefcase to meet with doctors and pharmacists, in Paris, Bordeaux and as far as Alsace.
1962- The birth of Pierre Fabre Laboratories
After his first commercial success and as a natural-born entrepreneur, Pierre Fabre decided to combine a vocation, pharmacy, with a passion, botany. This is how Pierre Fabre Laboratories came into being. A single building housed the first employees who worked on research and manufacturing. Little by little, the young laboratory's portfolio was expanded with new medications.
1965 - The invention of dermo-cosmetics
Klorane's chamomile shampoo marked the launch of a new activity: dermo-cosmetics, which became the exclusive territory of pharmacies. A founding moment in the company's history, which reflected Pierre Fabre's desire to take care of everyone, "from health to beauty". For him, skin and hair care required the same level of attention as any medication.
1976 - Nature at the heart of the Group
Selecting the right plant varieties, cultivating in a more respectful way, building a plant extraction site in Gaillac, creating laboratories and botanical gardens, revealing the properties of Avène-les-Bains thermal spring water and formulating plant-based health and care products: this passion that ran through Pierre Fabre’s veins would be the lifeblood of the Group.
1999 - The Fondation Pierre Fabre
Pierre Fabre is 86% owned by the Pierre Fabre Foundation, recognized as promoting the public interest in 1999, and secondarily by its own employees through an employee shareholding plan. Pierre Fabre wanted the foundation to become the Group's main shareholder and appointed it as his universal legatee. This model is unique in France, since it is the only French company to pay 86% of its dividends to the common good.
Born of the indignation of its founder at the scourge of counterfeit medicines in Africa, the Foundation has been working since its creation to improve access to high-quality healthcare for people in the Global South, in conjunction with local actors.
2005 - A human adventure above all
In 2005, the Ruscus shareholding plan was put in place. Today, nearly 9 out of 10 employees are shareholders, associated with the Group's results and thus contribute to its independence. In November 2021, the American magazine Forbes published its annual ranking of the world's best employers. The Pierre Fabre Group was at the top of the ranking, a testament to its reputation in the industry and the attachment of its employees to their company.
2011 - Launch of Sterile Cosmetics
Sterile Cosmetics is currently the first and only solution to offer formulas with a minimum of components, containing only essential active ingredients for the most sensitive skin types, without any preservatives. A new generation of dermo-cosmetic products from the brands Eau Thermale Avène, A-Derma and Ducray.
2013 - Pierre Fabre bequeaths his company to a foundation that promotes the public interest
To ensure the company's future and avoid financial speculation, Pierre Fabre bequeathed all of his shares to his eponymous Foundation, which has been recognized as promoting the public interested since 1999. This was the final altruistic and innovative move on the part of a visionary entrepreneur, driven throughout his life by humanist values in the service of patients and his native region. Pierre Fabre boasts a unique shareholder structure in France for an industrial company of its size.
2018 - Skin cancer, a new treatment that brings hope
In 2015, the Pierre Fabre Group signed a global partnership with Array BioPharma, an American biotech company based in Colorado. The objective: develop and market a targeted therapy for cancer, combining two new-generation molecules. At the end of 2018, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorized the marketing of this new treatment for adult patients with advanced melanoma carrying the BRAF mutation. In 2020, Pierre Fabre received marketing authorization for one of these two molecules for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer with the BRAF mutation (in combination with another molecule), a first in Europe.
About Pierre Fabre
Pierre Fabre is the 2nd largest dermo-cosmetics laboratory in the world, the 2nd largest private French pharmaceutical group and the market leader in France for products sold over the counter in pharmacies. Its portfolio includes several medical franchises and international brands including Pierre Fabre Oncology, Pierre Fabre Dermatology, Eau Thermale Avène, Klorane, Ducray, René Furterer, A-Derma, Naturactive and Pierre Fabre Oral Care.
In 2021, Pierre Fabre generated €2.5 billion in revenues, 66% of which came from international sales. Established in the South-West of France since its creation, the Group manufactures over 95% of its products in France and employs some 9500 people worldwide. Its products are distributed in about 115 countries.
Pierre Fabre is 86%-owned by the Pierre Fabre Foundation, a government-recognised public-interest foundation, and secondarily by its own employees through an international employee stock ownership plan. Ecocert Environnement had assessed the Groups corporate social and environmental responsibility approach in accordance with the ISO 26000 sustainable development standard since 2019, and confirmed its“Excellence”level in 2021.
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