Heritage

Milestones in the history of ALK

For a century, ALK has consistently devised and developed major advances for the treatment of allergy
The company’s roots can be traced back to 9 June 1923 when pharmacist Peter Barfod and physician Kaj Baagøe recorded the first pharmaceutically manufactured allergy preparation.

The product was designed to treat allergic reactions to goose feathers – neither Barfod or Baagøe realised that it was actually dust mites in bedding rather than goose feathers that were the true cause of the allergies they were investigating.

Explore the history of ALK

  • June, 1923
    ALK's foundation
    Doctor Kaj Baagøe and pharmacist Peter Barfod produce Denmark’s first pharmaceutically manufactured allergen extract at Copenhagen University Hospital
  • June, 1949
    Dedicated facilities
    Production of allergy immunotherapy treatments and diagnostics is centered at an independent unit called Allergologisk Laboratorium København (Allergology Laboratory Copenhagen)
  • June, 1972
    A new industry standard
    ALK develops the technique to accurately identify the proteins that provoke allergies and a standardised process for manufacturing allergen extracts
  • June, 1978
    A world first
    The world’s first standardised allergy immunotherapy is launched by ALK
  • June, 1990
    A new treatment option
    ALK launches the world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops (SLIT-drops)
  • June, 1990
    Groundbreaking asthma research
    ALK collaborates on research that shows allergy immunotherapy decreases the risk of developing asthma in children with allergic rhinitis
  • July, 2006
    First SLIT-tablets
    The world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet (SLIT-tablet) is approved in Europe.
  • July, 2009
    SLIT-tablet approved as a disease-modifying treatment
    ALK's SLIT-tablet the only one to be approved as a disease-modifying treatment for grass pollen allergy
  • July, 2015
    First house dust mite SLIT-tablet
    The first SLIT-tablet for house dust mite allergy approved for both allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma
  • July, 2016
    GAP-trial demonstrates reduced asthma symptoms
    Trial in children demonstrates that ALK's grass pollen SLIT-tablet reduces the risk in development of asthma symptoms and/or use of asthma medication in children with grass pollen allergic rhinitis
ALK's foundation Doctor Kaj Baagøe and pharmacist Peter Barfod produce Denmark’s first pharmaceutically manufactured allergen extract at Copenhagen University Hospital
June, 1923
Dedicated facilities Production of allergy immunotherapy treatments and diagnostics is centered at an independent unit called Allergologisk Laboratorium København (Allergology Laboratory Copenhagen)
June, 1949
A new industry standard ALK develops the technique to accurately identify the proteins that provoke allergies and a standardised process for manufacturing allergen extracts
June, 1972
A world first The world’s first standardised allergy immunotherapy is launched by ALK
June, 1978
A new treatment option ALK launches the world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops (SLIT-drops)
June, 1990
Groundbreaking asthma research ALK collaborates on research that shows allergy immunotherapy decreases the risk of developing asthma in children with allergic rhinitis
June, 1990
First SLIT-tablets The world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet (SLIT-tablet) is approved in Europe.
July, 2006
SLIT-tablet approved as a disease-modifying treatment ALK's SLIT-tablet the only one to be approved as a disease-modifying treatment for grass pollen allergy
July, 2009
First house dust mite SLIT-tablet The first SLIT-tablet for house dust mite allergy approved for both allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma
July, 2015
GAP-trial demonstrates reduced asthma symptoms Trial in children demonstrates that ALK's grass pollen SLIT-tablet reduces the risk in development of asthma symptoms and/or use of asthma medication in children with grass pollen allergic rhinitis
July, 2016
  • ALK's foundation
    June, 1923
    Doctor Kaj Baagøe and pharmacist Peter Barfod produce Denmark’s first pharmaceutically manufactured allergen extract at Copenhagen University Hospital
  • Dedicated facilities
    June, 1949
    Production of allergy immunotherapy treatments and diagnostics is centered at an independent unit called Allergologisk Laboratorium København (Allergology Laboratory Copenhagen)
  • A new industry standard
    June, 1972
    ALK develops the technique to accurately identify the proteins that provoke allergies and a standardised process for manufacturing allergen extracts
  • A world first
    June, 1978
    The world’s first standardised allergy immunotherapy is launched by ALK
  • A new treatment option
    June, 1990
    ALK launches the world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops (SLIT-drops)
  • Groundbreaking asthma research
    June, 1990
    ALK collaborates on research that shows allergy immunotherapy decreases the risk of developing asthma in children with allergic rhinitis
  • First SLIT-tablets
    July, 2006
    The world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet (SLIT-tablet) is approved in Europe.
  • SLIT-tablet approved as a disease-modifying treatment
    July, 2009
    ALK's SLIT-tablet the only one to be approved as a disease-modifying treatment for grass pollen allergy
  • First house dust mite SLIT-tablet
    July, 2015
    The first SLIT-tablet for house dust mite allergy approved for both allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma
  • GAP-trial demonstrates reduced asthma symptoms
    July, 2016
    Trial in children demonstrates that ALK's grass pollen SLIT-tablet reduces the risk in development of asthma symptoms and/or use of asthma medication in children with grass pollen allergic rhinitis

In recent years, ALK and its global partners have invested substantially in the research and development of new, evidence-based sublingual allergy immunotherapy (SLIT) tablets covering the majority of the respiratory allergies – house dust mite, grass pollen, pollen from birch and related trees, and ragweed pollen, as well as Japanese cedar pollen, which is a major cause of allergy in Japan.

In parallel, ALKs dedicated research and development has shown that allergy immunotherapy addresses the underlying cause of the allergy rather than just treating the symptoms and that it potentially prevents the development of asthma. With its latest product, ALK has become the first and only company to develop and launch a house dust mite SLIT-tablet which is indicated for usage in both allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.

Recently, ALK also disclosed data from a long-term clinical trial into asthma prevention in children suffering from grass pollen allergy which showed that its tablet-based allergy immunotherapy treatment for grass pollen allergy, significantly reduced the proportion of children experiencing asthma symptoms, an effect which was sustained for two years after end of treatment.

A track record of firsts

The book about ALK was written in connection with the company's 85th anniversary in 2008.

The purpose of the book is to give the company's surroundings - current and future employees and its subsidiaries, affiliates, and society as a whole - a thorough understanding of the ALK's history. The book's main author, Professor, Dr. Phil . Kurt Jacobsen from Copenhagen Business School, was given free access to all archives by the company's management.

The book can be freely downloaded, copied and distributed.

"14 March 2006 the answer everybody had been waiting for arrived: approval from the swedish authorities of the world's first tablet-based allergy vaccine" (From goose feathers to Grazax, p. 135)
Last updated: 2017.05.19