Norbrook Laboratories Limited was founded in 1969 by the late Lord Ballyedmond in Newry in Northern Ireland.
Norbrook commenced the manufacture of veterinary pharmaceuticals, initially in Bessbrook Mill and as business continued to grow the company acquired larger premises at Greenbank in Newry.
In 1972 the company commenced the manufacture of veterinary products in premises at the Greenbank Industrial Estate in Newry. The construction of these premises was assisted by LEDU, with the result that Norbrook was the most successful new business venture to be assisted by LEDU.
In 1974 the first Norbrook patent was granted and this signalled the start of Norbrook’s drive to develop its export business.
In 1976 the company won a major contract with Dutch company Philips Duphar to establish Norbrook as a leading force in the international Animal Health market.
By 1978 Norbrook had increased its international distribution arrangements and was selling product across Europe and in Africa, the Middle East and Canada while increasing market share in the United Kingdom and Ireland. To support increased sales in international markets Norbrook expanded production capability and acquired a further manufacturing premises at Station Works in Newry in 1979, one of the three sites now operational in Newry.
In the 1980s the company experienced further growth by expanding into Japan in 1980 and continued on the path of consistently building export revenue.
1987 was a major milestone for the company with approval granted by the US FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) to manufacture sterile injectables in the Station Works factory for sale in the US market. Norbrook remains today one of the few companies manufacturing outside the United States who are authorised by the FDA to import sterile injectables into the US.
It was during this year that Norbrook also achieved its first Queen’s Award for Export in recognition of sustained growth in export revenue. The company has gone on to receive this accolade on five different occasions.
A new production facility in Newry was acquired in 1990 and work commenced at that site on the Armagh Road. In the subsequent years Norbrook continued to invest heavily in new production facilities and research and development, building a healthy pipeline of innovative new products. The company’s portfolio of products grew rapidly and supported double digit per annum growth in many of Norbrook’s existing developed markets.
The early 1990s signalled significant global expansion with increasing sales in Eastern Europe and other developing markets.
Norbrook also picked up its second Queen’s Award for Export.
In 1993 Norbrook established a significant manufacturing presence in Nairobi, Kenya which develops and produces animal health products for sale in East Africa. Norbrook Kenya continues to deliver steady growth and Norbrook now also has a sales and marketing office in Kampala, Uganda.
The company was now producing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for a large percentage of its finished product requirements. The company is now self-sufficient in producing API’s for a large percentage of its finished product requirements.
In 1994 the company received its third Queen’s Award for Export.
Norbrook established strong sales and distribution businesses in Kansas USA, Melbourne Australia, New Zealand and Sao Paulo, Brazil and increased the revenue in these markets through the 2000s.
In 2001 the company launched its first major product for cats and dogs globally and this coincided with the opening of a third manufacturing facility in Newry, primarily dedicated to packaging at Carnbane.
The following year- in 2002 Norbrook was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise- International Trade.
In 2006 Norbrook’s novel combination of Ivermectin and Closantel received its license by the UK regulatory authorities and this allowed for the launch of one of Norbrook’s leading global products- Closamectin Pour On for Cattle- for the treatment of fluke and worms in 2009. Closamectin Injection for sheep was launched the following year.
During the 2000s Norbrook continued to invest heavily in the company with a major investment in a chemical synthesis facility.
In 2011 Norbrook received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the fifth time and continued with its global expansion into new and existing markets for both large and companion animals. The US had become one of the primary growth markets, with the company investing in additional sales and marketing facilities and staff. The company also focussed on new product development, with more than 70 new products developed between 2001 and the latter half of the 2010s.
In 2014 the company lost its Founder and Chairman, Lord Ballyedmond and three colleagues in a tragic accident.
In 2015 Liam Nagle was appointed CEO of the company, and with the Leadership Team and Board, has continued with the legacy of growth and expansion set by the late Lord Ballyedmond.
There were five new products launched in FY16 and a number of new products added to the pipeline for the years ahead. Organic volume uplift continued across the globe supported by new product development.
There has been significant investment in the manufacturing facilities including suite extensions and upgrades; major investment in our IT infrastructure; new warehousing built in Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland and investment across the facilities including new laboratories on the Armagh Road site which were officially opened in late 2016.