110 years of innovation, commitment and trust
Merz has been a successful specialty healthcare company for more than 110 years. Our company was founded in Frankfurt, Germany by a 24-year old chemist named Friedrich Merz, and we are proud to still be owned today by the fourth-generation of the Merz family. As a company with a long history, Merz has held different focus areas over the years. From dental products to Alzheimer’s disease breakthroughs, we have successfully reinvented ourselves more than once since our founding in 1908.
Today, Merz’s global business is focused on the areas of medical aesthetics and neurotoxin therapy, supported by a number of successful regional brands in both the prescription medicine and consumer health and beauty sectors.
1908 - Foundation on March 9thThe young pharmacist and chemist Friedrich Merz establishes his own pharmaceuticals production plant in Frankfurt. 10,000 Reichsmark, which he had received from his master pharmacist in Metz, Emile Losson, and his first inventions, a patent and an utility model protection, were the only starting capital the pharmacist and chemist needed.
1909 - Eckenheimer LandstrasseThe company expands and moves to a new location at Eckenheimer Landstraße 100, a former cigarette factory. The company headquarters are still at this location today.
1911 - Introduction of PatentexApplauded by doctors and pharmacists but facing resistance from the German Empire and the church, Merz introduces the first topical contraceptive, Patentex, onto the market.
1920 - DiversificationIn their hometown of Groß-Bieberau in the Odenwald, Friedrich Merz supports his brother Georg and the master wood turner, Justus Krell, in establishing a writing instruments company, Merz & Krell, which quickly develops into a flourishing business producing fountain pens and propelling pencils. Known today by the name Senator, the company is now an internationally leading manufacturer of writing instruments.
1930 - First additional sitesThe 1930's are characterized by rapid growth. New sites emerge in Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, London, and Newark, USA.
1944 - DestructionFollowing a difficult period of war, bombing reduces the factory in Frankfurt to the ground. Thanks to the removal of duplicate production machines to Reinheim, the production plant is gradually rebuilt and expanded following the war.
1953 - Launch of PlacentubexPlacentubex, an anti-wrinkle moisturizing cream that firms and rejuvenates the appearance of the skin, is presented by Friedrich Merz at the International Conference for Beauty Care. It is celebrated by experts as marking a turning point in the field of cosmetics, with the Neue Illustrierte pointing out: "The age-old dream of skin rejuvenation becomes reality with Placentubex to a degree which had previously not been thought possible".
1964 - Beauty care from withinFriedrich Merz has developed Merz Spezial Dragees from 18 different active ingredients and a special yeast extract. Beauty care from within? Initially, pharmacists and chemists do not know how to classify the product in their range, but Friedrich Merz offers them a course of treatment with Merz Spezial Dragees lasting several months, and thus gains the best possible support for what is still felt to be an unusual product. "Can you eat beauty care?" The unanimous reply ever since has been a resounding "Yes!".
1965 - tetesept bath medicineIn the 1960s, the tetesept brand established itself in the market. One of the first and most important products is the tetesept Cold Care Bath, the basis of which is formed by precious medicinal plants in the form of concentrated essential oils. Over the years, the product range is expanded, and before long it includes bath supplements, cold remedies, and also other health products, vitamin and mineral preparations and shower care products. Even today, the brand still combines the most modern scientific expertise with traditional natural medicine.
1968 - Launch of Placentubex Foaming MaskAnother milestone in cosmetics: Friedrich Merz develops the Placentubex Foaming Mask for the woman on the go. In just a few minutes, the foam soaks in without a trace, taking the active ingredients with it deep into the skin - the ideal refresher between leaving the office and meeting your friends. The German film star Maria Schell is also impressed.
1970 - "What do People really need?"Within a short period of time, a string of new patents and innovations means success in the pharmaceuticals area: Compounds for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, for the reduction of elevated blood lipids, for hepatic encephalopathy and for the treatment of herpes offer new therapeutic Options for a range of Patient needs.
2002 - Introduction of MemantineWith Memantine, Merz develops the first active compound worldwide for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. For many years, Memantine remains the second-most prescribed anti-dementia treatment worldwide.
2005 - Next generation Botulinum ToxinMerz introduces a next generation of neurotoxin - a type-A botulinum toxin free of complexing proteins. It is first used for the treatment of movement disorders and receives its first indication for aesthetic use in 2009.
2008 - Merz celebrates its 100-year anniversaryThe one-man operation from 1908 is today an internationally successful, research-based company with over 2,000 employees around the world.
2010 - Acquisition of BioformMerz enters the field of medical aesthetics with the acquisition of the US-based dermal filler company BioForm Medical and its flagship product, RADIESSE®.
2013 - Acquisition of AnteisMerz, which distributes a range of dermal fillers developed by Anteis under the Belotero® brand name, acquires the Swiss company. This completes the union of two companies that have been working in strong and trusting partnership for many years. The acquisition strengthens Merz Aesthetics’ portfolio and reinforces its market position in the field of aesthetic medicine while merging Anteis’ operations into one of the leading providers worldwide.
2013 - Acquisition of NeocutisWith the acquisition of Swiss skincare Company Neocutis, Merz strengthens its core competence of aesthetic medicine. Neocutis is a professional skincare range that provides physicians and patients with effective, innovative Solutions for anti-aging skincare.
2014 - Acquisition of UltheraThe acquisition accelerates Merz’s growth in the aesthetics area and expands the company’s ability to provide innovative aesthetic treatments along the full continuum of care. Using therapeutic ultrasound technology, the Ulthera® System is the first and only ultrasound platform device to receive FDA clearance for lifting skin on the eyebrow, on the neck and under the chin.
2015 - Launch of Radiesse® with LidocaineIn March 2015, Merz introduces Radiesse® (+) Lidocaine in the US market. With the integration of 0.3% lidocaine in each syringe the new dermal filler delivers the trusted properties of Radiesse® along with enhanced patient comfort. The product receives the CE mark for aesthetic use in Europe in June 2016.
2015 - Growth in Asia PacificMerz establishes its Asia Pacific regional Headquarters in Singapore. Seeing significant market opportunities in this high-growth region, Merz continues to expand in Asia Pacific, and today has offices in 12 different countries.
2016 - Acquisition of ON Light SciencesIn August 2016, Merz acquires US-based ON Light Sciences. The company’s flagship product is the FDA 510(k) cleared and CE-marked DeScribe® Transparent PFD Patch, which is placed over tattoos prior to irradiation, allowing physicians to treat tattoos more efficiently by enabling rapid multiple laser passes in a single treatment session.
2016 - Investment in CytrellisThrough its corporate venture initiative, Merz invests in Cytrellis a Boston-based clinical stage company that is developing an entirely new category of medical devices for the aesthetics market.
2017 - Partnership with TeijinIn December 2017, Merz, enters into a strategic license and co-development agreement with Teijin Limited, a technology-driven global group operating in the fields of materials, healthcare, and IT businesses, for the commercialization of Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) for Japan.
2018 - Launch of Belotero® LipsIn April 2018, Merz launches Belotero® Lips Shape and Contour, which are specifically designed for lip enhancement and treatment of perioral lines. The line includes two hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal filler products that complement each other to deliver safe, effective and natural-looking cosmetic results.
2018 - 110 Years of MerzIn 1918, 24-year-old pharmacist and chemist Friedrich Merz founded the Chemische Fabrik Merz & Co, in Frankfurt, Germany. Today, the company is still family-owned and remains headquartered in Frankfurt, but it has evolved from a mid-size German pharmaceutical company into a global leader in the fields of medical aesthetics and neurotoxin therapy.
2019 - Launch of Belotero® Lips ReviveIn April 2019, Merz launches Belotero® Lips Revive, a dermal filler product containing a unique combination of hyaluronic acid (HA) and glycerol, designed to improve hydration, elasticity and firmness of the skin and to address the appearance of fine lines.
2020 - New organizational structureMerz creates a new business structure that will enable the company to better address customer and patient needs, shorten innovation cycles and capitalize on new market opportunities. This new organizational structure will consist of three independently operating businesses: Merz Aesthetics, Merz Therapeutics and Merz Consumer Care.