History

History

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 9th

    Founder Friedrich Merz
    The 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 Landstrasse

    eckenheimerlandstrasse, old building
    The 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 Patentex

    Patentex logo
    Applauded 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 - Diversification

    Building Merz & Krell
    In 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 sites

    1930 - First additional sites
    The 1930's are characterized by rapid growth. New sites emerge in Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, London, and Newark, USA.
  • 1944 - Destruction

    Destroyed Frankfurt
    Following 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 Placentubex

    Anti-Wrinkle Preparation
    Placentubex, 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 within

    Beauty from within
    Friedrich 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 medicine

    tetesept
    In 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 Mask

    Foaming Mask
    Another 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?"

    New Therapeutic Methods
    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 Memantine

    Alzheimer´s Dementia
    With 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 Toxin

    Merz 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 anniversary

    Merz building
    The one-man operation from 1908 is today an internationally successful, research-based company with over 2,000 employees around the world.
  • 2010 - Acquisition of Bioform

    Merz 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 Anteis

    Merz, 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 Neocutis

    With 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 Ulthera

    Acquisition of Ulthera
    The 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 Lidocaine

    In 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 Pacific

    Merz 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 Sciences

    In 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 Cytrellis

    Through 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.
  • 2016 - Launch of the Cellfina® System

    In January 2016, Merz launches the Cellfina® System in the US market, followed by marketing authorization in select European markets in September 2017. The Cellfina® System is currently the only EU CE-Marked and U.S. FDA-cleared minimally-invasive procedure that treats the underlying structural cause of cellulite with results that last at least three years.
  • 2017 - One Million Ultherapy® Treatments

    In May 2017, Merz celebrates the milestone achievement of one million Ultherapy® treatments conducted worldwide. Since its global launch in 2008 and U.S. launch in 2009, the non-invasive ultrasound device has has become a game-changer in physician offices worldwide for lifting and tightening skin with its cutting-edge technology.
  • 2017 - Partnership with Teijin

    In 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® Lips

    In 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 Merz

    In 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.