We are proud of our history.. Bristol-Myers was formed in 1887 when William McLaren Bristol and John Ripley Myers bought a small pharmaceutical firm in New York State. The Squibb Corporation was founded in Brooklyn, New York, almost 30 years earlier, by Dr. Edward Robinson Squibb.

The two firms developed in parallel for more than a century, before merging in 1989, creating a global leader in the health care industry.

Date of preparation: May 2015 MLTUK1500052-02



As a young U.S. Navy doctor, Edward Robinson Squibb (1819-1900) was so unimpressed by the quality of medicines available on ships that he threw the unfit drugs overboard. In 1858, he founded his own pharmaceutical laboratory in Brooklyn, New York. E.R. Squibb, M.D. was dedicated to the production of consistently pure medicines.
William McLaren Bristol and his friend, John Ripley Myers, invested in the Clinton Pharmaceutical Company, a failing drug manufacturing based in New York. The company was officially incorporated on December 13, 1887, with Bristol as president and Myers as vice president. <
Bristol-Myers’ first nationally recognised product, termed a poor man’s spa by chief chemist J. Leroy Webber, was a laxative mineral salt that, when dissolved in water, reproduced the taste and effects of the natural mineral waters of Bohemia. Christened Sal Hepatica, the new product sold modestly at first. By 1903 however, Sal Hepatica was a best seller.

Another runaway success of this era was Ipana toothpaste, the first toothpaste to include a disinfectant in its formula and thus protect against infection of bleeding gums. The demand for Sal Hepatica and Ipana transformed Bristol-Myers from a regional company into an international one.
Squibb obtained cultures of penicillium notatum from the United Kingdom and developed deep tank fermentation processes for the production of penicillin. By 1943, Squibb was producing penicillin in 15,000-gallon tanks in its New Jersey facility - the largest penicillin production plant in the world.


Bristol-Myers bought Cheplin Laboratories, which became a key supplier of penicillin for the Allied armed forces during World War II.
From 1945 to the 1960s, Bristol-Myers and Squibb were significant participants in the antibiotic age, enlarging their facilities and producing streptomycin, tetracycline and other discoveries.
Squibb International was incorporated and the company expanded into South America and Europe while building manufacturing facilities in Mexico, Italy and Argentina.
Squibb received the Lasker Award, one of the most respected science prizes in the world, for discovering antitubercular properties of Nydrazid (isoniazid), an antibiotic used to treat serious infections.


Squibb developed its first anti-cancer medicine Hydrea® (hydroxycarbamide), which is still used today.
The Squibb Corporation created the first medicine in a new class of antihypertensive agents called ACE inhibitors.
Miguel A. Ondetti
Bristol-Myers merged with Squibb, creating a global leader in the healthcare industry. The merger created Bristol-Myers Squibb, which was then the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical company.
Bristol-Myers merges with Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb developed the world’s second HIV medicine.
Taxol® (paclitaxel) is launched as an anti-cancer medicine.
Charles A. Heimbold, Jr.


In a joint-venture with Sanofi-Aventis, Aprovel® (irbesartan) is launched for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
The cardiovascular medicine, Plavix® (clopidogrel), is launched in the UK by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.
Sustiva® (efavirenz) is launched, which is used to treat serious infections.

In the same year, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced SECURE THE FUTURE®, a $100 million commitment to advance HIV/AIDS research and community outreach programs in seven African countries: Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Tanzania.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, together with four other pharmaceutical companies and international agencies, joined the UNAIDS Drug ACCESS Initiative. The ACCESS program aimed to make antiretroviral medicines and therapies more widely available in African countries by reducing prices. The company offered to lower the prices of HIV/AIDS medicines in those countries by 90 percent.
Bristol-Myers Squibb committed $15 million for extending SECURE THE FUTURE® to four Western African countries—Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal.


Bristol-Myers Squibb launched several significant products: Abilify® (aripiprazole), which is used to treat mental health disorders; Reyataz® (atazanavir) the first once-daily protease inhibitor; and Perfalgan® the first intravenous paracetamol.
Bristol-Myers Squibb launch Sprycel® (dasatinib) and Baraclude® (entecavir).
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced a new strategy to become a next-generation BioPharma company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines to fight serious diseases. To accelerate this transformation, the company introduced the String of Pearls approach to complement and enhance its internal capabilities with a suite of innovative alliances, partnerships and acquisitions with small and large companies. In the same year, Orencia® (abatacept) was launched, the first selective co-stimulation modulator of T- cell activation.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead teamed up to launch Atripla® (efavirenz/Truveda).
Onglyza® (saxagliptin) is launched, in a joint venture with AstraZeneca for the treatment of metabolic diseases.
In February 2014, Bristol-Myers Squibb sold its global diabetes business to AstraZeneca. The transaction includes the rights to Bristol-Myers Squibb’s global diabetes business that was part of its collaboration with AstraZeneca, the former Amylin manufacturing facility in West Chester, Ohio, and also covers the future purchase by AstraZeneca of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Mount Vernon, Indiana, manufacturing facility approximately 18 months following the close of the deal.