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Type Public / Private

Janssen is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Beerse, Belgium. It was founded in 1953 by Paul Janssen. In 1961, Janssen Pharmaceutica was purchased by New Jersey-based American corporation Johnson & Johnson, and became part of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development (J&J PRD), now renamed to Janssen Research and Development (JRD), which conducts research and development activities related to a wide range of human medical disorders, including mental illness, neurological disorders, anaesthesia and analgesia, gastrointestinal disorders, fungal infection, HIV/AIDS, allergies and cancer. Janssen and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical have been placed in the Ortho-McNeil-Janssengroup within Johnson & Johnson.


The early roots of what would become Janssen Pharmaceutica date back to 1933. In 1933, Constant Janssen, the father of Paul Janssen, acquired the right to distribute the pharmaceutical products of Richter, a Hungarian pharmaceutical company, for Belgium, the Netherlands, and Belgian Congo. On 23 October 1934, he founded the N.V. Produkten Richter in Turnhout. In 1937, Constant Janssen acquired an old factory building in the Statiestraat 78 in Turnhout for his growing company, which he expanded during World War II into a four-storey building. Still a student, Paul Janssen assisted in the development of paracetamol (USP: acetaminophen, often referred to generically under the trademark Tylenol) under the name Perdolan, which would later become well-known . After the war, the name for the company products was changed to Eupharma, although the company name Richter would remain until 1956.[1]

Paul Janssen founded his own research laboratory in 1953 on the third floor of the building in the Statiestraat, still within the Richter-Eurpharma company of his father. In 1955, he and his team developed their first drug: Neomeritine (ambucetamide), an antispasmodic found to be particularly effective for the relief of menstrual pain. On 5 April 1956, the name of the company was changed to NV Laboratoria Pharmaceutica C. Janssen (named after Constant Janssen). On 27 April 1957, the company opened a new research facility in Beerse, but the move to Beerse would not be completed until 1971-1972. On 2 May 1958, the research department in Beerse became a separate legal entity, the N.V. Research Laboratorium C. Janssen.

On 24 October 1961, the company was acquired by the American corporation Johnson & Johnson. The negotiations with Johnson & Johnson were led by Frans Van den Bergh, head of the Board of Directors. On 10 February 1964, the name was changed to Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. and the seat of the company in Turnhout was also transferred to Beerse. The company was led by Paul Janssen, Bob Stouthuysen and Frans Van Den Bergh. When, in 1971-1972 the pharmaceutical production also moved to Beerse, the move from Turnhout was completed. Between 1990 and 2004, Janssen Pharmaceutica expanded worldwide, and the company grew in size to about 28000 employees worldwide.

From the beginning, Janssen Pharmaceutica emphasized as its core activity research for the development of new drugs. The research department which was established in Beerse in 1957, developed into a large research campus. In 1987, the Janssen Research Foundation (JRF) was founded which performs research into new drugs at Beerse and in other laboratories around the globe. Janssen Pharmaceutica became the Flemish company with the largest budget for research and development. Beside the headquarters in Beerse with its research departments, pharmaceutical production and the administrative departments, Janssen Pharmaceutica in Belgium still has offices in Berchem (Janssen-Cilag), a chemical factory in Geel, and Janssen Biotech in Olen.

The Chemical Production plant in Geel makes the active ingredients for the company’s medicines. In 1975, the first plant of a new chemical factory Plant I was established in Geel, Plant II was opened in 1977, Plant III' in 1984, and Plant IV in 1995. In 1999 the remaining chemical production in Beerse was transferred to Geel. About 80% of its active components are manufactured here. The site in Geel also manufactures about two-thirds of the worldwide chemical production of the pharmaceutical sector of Johnson & Johnson. In 1995, the Center for Molecular Design (CMD) was founded by Paul Janssen and Paul Lewi.

In 1999, clinical research and non-clinical development become a global organization within Johnson & Johnson. In 2001, part of the research activities was transferred to the United States with the reorganization of research activities in the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Development (JJPRD) organization. The research activities of the Janssen Research Foundation (JRF) and the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (PRI) (United States) were merged into the new global research organization. A new building for pharmaceutical development was completed in Beerse in 2001. In 2002, a new logistics and informatics centre was opened at a new site, Beerse 2. In 2003 two new research buildings were constructed, the Discovery Research Center (DRC), and the Drug Safety Evaluation Center (DSEC). On 27 October 2004, the Paul Janssen Research Center, for discovery research, was inaugurated.

The success of Janssen Pharmaceutica is commonly attributed to the vision of its founder, who himself was a brilliant scientist, but was also surrounded by talented and motivated employees, both scientifically and commercially. Paul Janssen created an environment which stimulated the creativity of his research workers. [2]

In March 2015, Janssen licensed tipifarnib (a farnesyl transferase inhibitor) to Kura Oncology who will assume sole responsibility for developing and commercialising the anti-cancer drug.[3] Later in the same month the company announced that Galapagos Pharma and regained the rights to the anti-inflammatory drug candidate GLPG1690 as well as two other compounds including GLPG1205 (a first-in-class inhibitor of GPR84).[4]

In May 2016, the company launched a collaboration MacroGenics and their preclinical cancer treatment, MGD015. The deal could net MacroGenics more than $740 million.[5]

In September 2017 it was announced that Janssen teamed up with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to create pandemic flu vaccines. BARDA is giving Janssen $43 million in the first year and $273 million over five years for the contract. One of the projects in the contract is the development of a universal flu vaccine. The intent of the vaccine would be to protect people against all or most flu strains.[6]


Juries in several US states have found that Janssen Pharmaceutical and its parent company Johnson & Johnson deceptively promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone). By 2012, four states had been awarded damages, including Louisiana ($258 million in 2010), South Carolina ($327 million in 2011), Texas ($158 million in 2012), and most notably Arkansas ($1.2 billion in 2012) - whose Attorney General stated: “These two companies put profits before people, and they are rightfully being held responsible for their actions".[7]

In a related issue, Risperdal sales practices resulted in a 2012 provisional settlement totaling $2.3 billion.[8] The United States Department of Justice began investigating Risperdal sales practices in 2004, and in 2010 joined a whistleblowers suit alleging bribes paid to Omnicare, the largest company supplying pharmaceutical drugs to nursing homes.[9][10] The allegations include that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen were warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) not to promote Risperdal as effective and safe for elderly patients when in fact it is associated with early death, but they did so; and that they in fact bribed Omnicare pharmacists tens of millions of dollars to promote the drug to care home physicians for this unapproved use. A settlement was provisionally agreed with Johnson & Johnson of around $2.2 billion for this and related allegations, with Omnicare having already settled for around $100 million.[8] Former head of sales and president of Janssen, Alex Gorsky, who the Dept of Justice say “was actively involved” in the fraud, nevertheless become the new CEO of Johnson & Johnson in 2012.[11]

Top 5 Recent Tweets

April 06, 2023Kevin_McKernanWe couldn’t find Janssen/J&J sequence anywhere. So it has now been sequenced. The codon optimization is different t… https://t.co/jUq1bGI1Ia
April 02, 2023EpicaJoin us in wishing 🥳happy birthday🎉 to @coen_janssen🎹! Throw some 🫶🫶 in the comments alongside your fav Coen moment… https://t.co/p5eZE7koRW
April 05, 2023statnewsFor the first time, Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drug Company is selling medicines made by a large drug manufacturer dire… https://t.co/9ETqviNnwt
April 11, 2023mrHarryTwott@iluminatibot At this point, with what we know now, I'm glad I only had the Janssen (one and done) and never got a second jab EVER.
April 10, 2023abtheflameF3: These are the facts and figures you need to know this week (April 10, 2023).

Written by Trisha Tamio

Infograph… https://t.co/NhDPClRDuQ

Top 5 Recent News Headlines

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Top 5 Lifetime News Headlines

  1. Lopez-Munoz, Francisco; Alamo, Cecilio (2009). "The Consolidation of Neuroleptic Therapy: Janssen, the Discovery of Haloperidol and Its Introduction into Clinical Practice". Brain Research Bulletin79: 130–141. 
  2. Lewi, Paul J., Successful Pharmaceutical Discovery: Paul Janssen's Concept of Drug Research, R&D Management, Vol. 37, Issue 4, pp. 355-362, September 2007
  3. "GEN - News Highlights:Kura Oncology Licenses Janssen's Tipofarnib in Cancer"
  4. "GEN - News Highlights:Galapagos Regains Rights to GLPG1690 from Janssen"
  5. "Janssen, MacroGenics Launch Up-to-$740M+ Second Collaboration"
  6. "Johnson & Johnson, BARDA join forces to prep for pandemic flu, inking deal for vaccine and drug R&D - FiercePharma". www.fiercepharma.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  7. J.&J. Fined $1.2 Billion in Drug Case NY Times, By KATIE THOMAS Published: 11 April 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 J&J Said to Agree to $2.2 Billion Drug Marketing Accord Bloomberg News. By Margaret Cronin Fisk, Jef Feeley & David Voreacos - 11 Jun 2012
  9. Hilzenrath, David S. (16 January 2010). "Justice suit accuses Johnson & Johnson of paying kickbacks". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  10. Singer, Natasha (15 January 2010). "Johnson & Johnson Accused of Drug Kickbacks". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  11. J&J needs a cure: new CEO allegedly had links to fraud Forbes, Erika Kelton, 4/17/2012

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