ALK milestones

A history of firsts

For almost a century, ALK has consistently devised and developed major advances for the treatment of allergy

Since 1923, when pharmacist Peter Barfod and physician Kaj Baagøe documented the first pharmaceutically manufactured allergy preparation, ALK has led the way in allergy treatment, and our long history of ‘firsts’ include demonstrating how to manufacture allergen extracts, establishing a standardised method for large-scale manufacturing, and introducing new, more convenient treatment formulations.

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
  • July, 1989
    New owner
    The Lundbeck Foundation becomes the major shareholder of ALK. The foundation awards research grants primarily to support research in the biomedical sciences
  • June, 1990
    A new treatment option
    ALK launches the world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops (SLIT-drops)
  • July, 1992
    Merger
    ALK merges with rival Spanish company Abelló to become ALK-Abelló
  • July, 2006
    First SLIT-tablet
    The world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet (SLIT-tablet) is approved in Europe.
  • July, 2008
    New logo and name
    ALK introduces new logo and changes name to ALK. ALK-Abelló remains the legal name of the company
  • June, 2017
    Inclusion in GINA
    For the first time, allergy immunotherapy is recommended as a treatment option in the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) strategy document
  • December, 2017
    New transformational growth strategy
    ALK launches a new strategy to reach out to more people with allergy and to become a broader-based allergy company
  • July, 2018
    Launch of sister brand
    Launch of ALK’s sister brand klarify.me – offering a broad range of pre-screened products and services to help people manage their allergies
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
New owner The Lundbeck Foundation becomes the major shareholder of ALK. The foundation awards research grants primarily to support research in the biomedical sciences
July, 1989
A new treatment option ALK launches the world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops (SLIT-drops)
June, 1990
Merger ALK merges with rival Spanish company Abelló to become ALK-Abelló
July, 1992
First SLIT-tablet The world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet (SLIT-tablet) is approved in Europe.
July, 2006
New logo and name ALK introduces new logo and changes name to ALK. ALK-Abelló remains the legal name of the company
July, 2008
Inclusion in GINA For the first time, allergy immunotherapy is recommended as a treatment option in the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) strategy document
June, 2017
  • 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
  • New owner
    July, 1989
    The Lundbeck Foundation becomes the major shareholder of ALK. The foundation awards research grants primarily to support research in the biomedical sciences
  • A new treatment option
    June, 1990
    ALK launches the world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops (SLIT-drops)
  • Merger
    July, 1992
    ALK merges with rival Spanish company Abelló to become ALK-Abelló
  • First SLIT-tablet
    July, 2006
    The world’s first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet (SLIT-tablet) is approved in Europe.
  • New logo and name
    July, 2008
    ALK introduces new logo and changes name to ALK. ALK-Abelló remains the legal name of the company
  • Inclusion in GINA
    June, 2017
    For the first time, allergy immunotherapy is recommended as a treatment option in the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) strategy document

Decades of pushing boundaries and raising standards have placed us at the forefront of our industry, and in recent years, we have invested heavily in gathering unprecedented clinical evidence in support of the latest generation of allergy treatments – sublingual allergy immunotherapy (SLIT) tablets.

When complete, our SLIT-tablet range will cover five of the most common respiratory allergies in the world – house dust mite, grass, trees from the birch tree family, ragweed and Japanese cedar – for all relevant age groups. Our tablets for house dust mite, grass, ragweed and Japanese cedar allergies are already available in many markets and we are working hard to complete the range as quickly as possible.

In 2018, we launched a sister brand klarify.me – offering a broad range of pre-screened drug-free products and services to help people manage their allergies. The overall aim is to transform ALK into a broader-based allergy company that reaches many more people who live with allergy and asthma, and which captures a greater share of the global allergy market by offering solutions for everyone touched by allergy through a comprehensive range of products, services and resources.

From laboratory to global concern

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: 2019.07.04