Synthetic medicinal products and raw materials were barely manufactured in the early 20th century. Such products were imported. After outbreak of the First World War, imports were suspended resulting in deficit of medicines and medical devices. Domestic pharmaceutical manufacture was extremely needed.
In 1925, the first plant manufacturing synthetic medicinal products, Lomonosov Kyiv Chemical and Pharmaceutical Plant, was put into operation in Ukraine. Later, it was transformed into Joint Stock Company Farmak.
1925 - 1941
Staff of 42 workers and 12 engineering workers under the leadership of I. V. Yegorov PhD established production and developed synthesis technologies of first products, which were chloroform and salicylic acid. In December 1925, the plant first manufactured 790 kg of crude resorcinol and 205 kg of salicylic acid. In 1937, the plant went into production of medical resorcinol, which was successfully used throughout the USSR.
Professional personnel and modern equipment were dramatically sparse; however, the plant was successful in arranging the production of 15 medicines.
1941 – 1945
When the German fascist forces launched the offensive, the plant (i.e. staff of 30 employees and part of equipment) was evacuated first to Voroshilovgrad (present Luhansk), then to Kazan. When construction work and installation of production equipment moved out of Kyiv were complete, production of the required screens for X-ray equipment as well as chloratel, streptocide and tripaflavin was started. Those were the products required by military hospitals, especially those at the front line. Thanks to the plant’s staff, doctors at the front received regular supplies of the required medicines.
When Kyiv was liberated from fascist invaders, the plant’s staff returned to the city that was almost destroyed. They were working to restore the plundered plant remaining at the production for 2-3 days. It was their strenuousness and hard work that allowed the plant to eventually start production of first products – streptocide, disulfane, isophenine and electrolyte – in 1944.
By the end of 1944, Kyiv Chemical Pharmaceutical Plant fully recovered production of urotropin and anesthetic chloral hydrate, calcium and sodium chlorides. Operation of the menthol, validol and resorcinol production lines was launched in early 1945.
1947 – 1970
In 1950-ies Kyiv Chemical Pharmaceutical Plant became the single powerful company producing X-ray contrast agents in the USSR.
Over 1951-1958, refocusing of certain productions was implemented in the plant. The output of medicines (glucose, chloroethane) and X-ray contrast media was increased.
In 1958, the output of Validol was increased by almost 14 times and that of anesthetic chloroform by 11 times as compared to the output in 1950.
The production of syntomycin and synthesis of new medicines supplied to all the USSR countries was launched.
X-ray contrast agents Bilimin, Iodamide and Triombrast were developed and produced remaining ones of best contrast media till present.
In 1960, production of the domestic cardiovascular preparation named ‘Corvalol’ was launched, which quickly became globally known and is still the plant’s signature product.
In 1961, production of the exclusive medicinal product ‘Naphthyzin’ was started.
First automatic production lines for the manufacture of medicinal products were installed.
In 1965, M. V. Lomonosov Plant produced 27 products and implemented 1500 innovative proposals and inventions.
In 1975, the plant’s output of levomycetin was 165 tonnes, which was 4 times greater than its designed capacity.
Export of 1/5 of all products was arranged to over 20 countries of the world, among which were Angola, Germany, France, Italy, Egypt, Greece.
1975 – 1995
Construction of a dedicated facility for production of X-ray contrast agents was complete in the plant’s premises. Production of hydrocortisone was in progress.
Active reforming of the Company’s business activities was performed since mid-1980-ies.
M. V. Lomonosov Kyiv Chemical Pharmaceutical Plant became Joint Stock Company “Farmak” being the first in the Ukrainian pharmaceutical industry.
1995 – 2015
Filya Ivanivna Zhebrovska was elected the General Director and Chair of the Management Board of Farmak JSC.
Since then, the mainstream of the Company’s activity was radical refocusing on production of competitive products complying with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The Company started retrofitting activities: the first production line for drops under the Bottelpack technology was purchased and installed. The first product produced on the new production line was Naphthyzin.
Production of deficit ophthalmic medicines, antibiotics, medicines in the form of ointments was launched.
In late 1990-ies, Farmak signed an agreement for long-term partnership with the US corporation Eli Lilly, which is the leader in insulin development and production. The Company launched production of human rDNA insulins from the drug substance under the US partner’s licensed technology.
In 1996, the production output increased by 157.7 % as compared to that of the preceding year, while the quantity of products of the Company’s portfolio tripled over the period of 1995-1999.
Production of L-thyroxine was launched. Construction of a new tablet production facility certified according to the GMP rules was complete.
The medicinal product Amizon was developed in cooperation with scientists of the Pharmacology and Toxicology Institute of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine and the Organic Chemistry Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; commercial manufacture of the product was launched.
17 thousand square meters of new production facilities and 6 thousand square meters of administrative facilities were commissioned over 10 years.
One new production was launched each year since 2000. In 2001, colossal construction of the Finished Medicinal Product Workshop (FMP-1) was started. Foreign partners were engaged to the design, which was the first experience in the Ukrainian pharmaceutical industry. Thanks for this engagement, 4 production lines of FMP-1 were certified for the European market.
In mid-2000-ies, Farmak started opening its representative offices in other countries.
Today, the staff of Farmak’s representative offices includes about 200 experts.
In 2007, production of Magnegita® was launched, which is a generic product to the original contrast agent Magnevist® (gadopentetate dimeglumine). Farmak managed to be the first to synthesize the substance and to develop the finished dosage form as well as to prepare a registration dossier and to obtain authorization of the first generic of the original gadopentetate indicated for the use for magnetic resonance imaging in 22 countries of the European Union under the decentralized procedure.
In December 2010, Farmak commissioned the first stage of the large project entitled ‘SLM-2’ (Sterile Liquid Medicines), which includes two aseptic production lines for injectable products.
In 2000-ies, Farmak was proactive in colossal construction: the second stage of the Bottelpack production line (2010), production lines for liquid medicines (2007-2010), production facilities for dragées (2011) and soft gelatine capsules were launched over a short period of time. Full retrofitting of the manufacturing sites was complete in 2013.
In 2010, Farmak was recognized as Top #1 Company among domestic manufacturers having moved 4 positions up in the rating over 4 years and has surefootedly asserted the leadership to this day.
The Company obtained GMP certificates for all its production lines.
A new laboratory and process complex committed to research and development was launched.
The laboratories were equipped with cutting-edge equipment of such global manufacturers as Glatt, SBM, Urlinski, Belimed, De Ditrich, Gea, Sartorius, Malvern Instruments.
2015 – 2020
A polish company – Nord Farm – was acquired.
The API manufacturing site based in Shostka, Sumy Region, was constructed and launched.
The Company’s products are exported to 20 countries of the world.
The Company’s product portfolio includes 220 product dossiers.
Up to 20 new products are launched each year.
The Company’s staff is over 2600 employees.
The Company has 19 production lines, all of which comply with GMP.
The Pharmaceutical Quality System was implemented and continually improved according to the current regulatory requirements and global standards of ISO, GMP. The Company receives about 15 international inspections each year.
Zhebrovska Filia became the Chairman of the Supervisory board. On March 3, 2018 Volodymyr Kostiuk was appointed acting Executive Director.
The company’s products are exported to 40 countries in the EU, Central and South America, the CIS, the Middle East, and Asia, and its portfolio includes 400 medicines.
In 2021, every third package of the company’s drugs went to foreign markets.
The company expanded its export geography to include Switzerland, Brazil, Indonesia, and Bolivia.
In 2021, Farmak also opened an office in the United Arab Emirates and a representative office in Vietnam.
The company began expanding into the Latin American region from Mexico, where an essential drug was registered and commercialized. The company is also rapidly expanding its cooperation with other markets in the region: Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, Chile, Panama, Bolivia, and other Latin American countries.
In 2021, the company opened a renovated section of the third workshop, installing the longest drug packaging line.
Having one of the best R&D departments in Ukraine according to Forbes, Farmak is engaged in the development of research and development capacities. The company launched the construction of an innovation center in Kyiv, and the company’s employees presented an innovative PCR test at the forum of the UN General Assembly.
Filya Zhebrovska, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Farmak, is the only Ukrainian woman included in the global list of 50 Over 50: EMEA 2022 of the international edition of Forbes.
Since the beginning of a full-scale war in Ukraine, Farmak has been actively engaged in the pharmaceutical and economic fronts of the country. In the conditions of disrupted logistical communications, despite the occupation and hostilities in large areas, the company managed to provide civilians and the military with the necessary medicines.
Farmak and the Zhebrivski Family Charitable Foundation comprehensively help our defenders on the front lines not only with medicines. In 2022, the Zhebrivski Family Charitable Foundation and Farmak provided assistance to the Ukrainian Army in the amount of more than UAH 50 million.
Farmak closed the representative office of the company in the Republic of Belarus, which supports the outright terrorism of the aggressor country on our soil.
The company actively takes part in the development of a recovery plan for the pharmaceutical industry in Ukraine.
Start of construction of production site in Spain.
Farmak started selling its own drug to Malaysia. This is the 7th country in the Asia-Pacific region and the 58th in the world where the Ukrainian company exports medicines. The company is also increasing its presence in the EU countries by acquiring pharmaceutical marketing companies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia along with related intellectual property rights and trademarks. In addition, as a result of successfully passing the inspections of the British regulatory authorities, which lasted more than a year, the Ukrainian company registered two new products, which are now being sold in the UK.
Farmak has successfully completed the international HORIZON 2020 program. Its participants were eight academies and five pharmaceutical companies from eight countries, including Farmak, the only company from Ukraine.
The enterprise continues to provide comprehensive assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the population affected during the full-scale war. Farmak and the Zhebrivsky Family Charitable Foundation allocated over UAH 30 million to this end in just 6 months of 2023. The amount of the charitable assistance since the beginning of russia’s open military invasion of Ukraine is UAH 83 million.