How everything began: natural glue from bone and skins
Bone and tissue are a recurring theme throughout the corporate history of Geistlich. The family-run company, which was established in 1851, processed bone and skin into glue, first in Zurich, then in Schlieren from 1873 and then from 1899 also in Wolhusen. These raw materials also formed the basis for the Geistlich products of the next centuries. All business units of the Geistlich Group developed out of the processing of bone and tissue and are based on this expertise which the company has acquired over a period of more than 160 years.
Entry in the pharmaceutical sector thanks to bone expertise in the 1940s
Through the production of natural glue and fertiliser made from bone and skin, Geistlich developed into a bone and tissue expert. During the Second World War, Geistlich entered the pharmaceutical market thanks to a product to combat bone atrophy.
From the 1950s onwards, the company established its first affiliates in Great Britain (Geistlich Sons Ltd) and in Germany (GEWO) and constantly expanded its range of products: In addition to gelatine, which Geistlich produced up to 2002, Geistlich also manufactured cosmetic products up to the end of the 1980s and still manufactures pharmaceutical products (such as Kelosoft®, Taurolin®) and medical products (such as TauroSept®) today.
Regenerative biomaterials – Start of a new era
In the 1980s, Dr. Peter Geistlich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Geistlich Pharma, decided to invest in regenerative biomaterials and to develop medical products for natural bone and tissue regeneration on the basis of bone and collagen. In collaboration with international researchers, primarily with Prof. Dr. Philip J. Boyne (Loma Linda / California), Dr. Peter Geistlich did pioneering work in bone regeneration and developed the bone replacement material Geistlich Bio-Oss®. In the 1980s, Geistlich also launched Orthoss®, a bone substitude for use in orthopaedic surgery. In the 1990s, Geistlich Bio-Gide®, a collagen membrane for dental medicine, and Chondro-Gide®, a collagen matrix for the regeneration of cartilage, were launched on the market.
From pioneer to world-leading regeneration expert
When Geistlich entered the market for regenerative biomaterials in the 1980s, the market was undeveloped. Geistlich adopted a pioneering role and had a decisive influence on shaping the market. Today, the company is focused on scientifically based regenerative medicine and is expanding its expertise in bone and cartilage to other areas of application. In regenerative dental medicine (Geistlich Biomaterials), Geistlich has been the global leader for decades and is continually growing – also geographically: in 1996, in addition to the German affiliate GEWO focusing on pharmaceutical products, Geistlich Biomaterials Germany was established with a focus on regenerative dental medicine. This was followed by affiliates in Italy (2003), China and France (both in 2008), Brazil (2010), South Korea (2011), USA (2012), Australia (2014) and India (2016).