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Vianex – The living history of the Greek pharmaceutical industry


VIANEX is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Greece, not only compared to other Greek companies, but also to multinationals. After more than 90 years of activity in the pharmaceutical industry, in many ways the Giannakopoulos family could be regarded as a living history of Greek pharmaceutical production.

It all started in 1924, when the first pharmacy opened on Piraeus Street. The first stepping stone towards the creation of Vianex was laid in 1960, when Paul Giannakopoulos founded Pharmagian, an importer of medicinal products from the US and Europe, that began operations across Greece. Pharmagian soon began to represent major international pharmaceutical companies, including Janssen, Roussel and Alcon, and expanded its business abroad. The first major milestone came in 1971, when Paul Giannakopoulos, President and Founder of VIANEX SA, building on the company’s spectacular growth, signed agreements with pharmaceutical companies of international repute, including Merck & Co (USA), Takeda Chemical Industries (Japan), Sigma Tau Industries (Italy), Eli Lilly (USA), which entrusted the company with the production and representation of their products in the Greek market.

The company’s industrial activity started in 1977, with the establishment of its first factory, which specialised in the manufacturing of sterile, liquid and semi-solid products and suspensions. In 1983, VIANEX acquired its second factory. This was an innovative, environmentally friendly pharmaceutical plant, which specialises in the manufacture of non-sterile solid forms (tablets, capsules, granules). Two years later, the company boosted its manufacturing activities with the acquisition of its third factory. The third factory is considered one of the largest and most modern manufacturing plants of lyophilised injectables in Europe. It houses separate production lines for sterile injectables (lyophile, solutions, suspensions), a special plant manufacturing cytotoxic gels, and a special R&D laboratory with two pilot lyophilisers where research is carried out into lyophilisation, as part of cooperative research with universities and research organisations.

In 1995, its subsidiary VIAN SA was founded to distribute and market well-known non-prescription pharmaceutical products, food supplements, and diagnostic and parapharmaceutical products.

In 1997, VIANEX established its headquarters and the distribution centre for its finished products in Varibobi.

In 1999, VIANEX acquired its fourth factory, considered one of the most sophisticated of the few cephalosporin manufacturing plants in Europe.

In 2006, the company incorporated Eldrug, a company active in research and development, and in 2011 VIANEX was approved as a supplier by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

2013 was another important year for the group, which, now led by Dimitris Giannakopoulos, signed an agreement with Eli Lilly for the annual production of 10,000,000 units of vancomycin, 100% of which is exported to China.

In 2015, VIAN SA started marketing and distributing Depon, the best-selling analgesic-antipyretic products, following an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

An important fact is the announcement of a new agreement with the pharmaceutical company, MSD, signed in early 2016, renewing, in the best manner possible, 33 years of successful cooperation.

Today, VIANEX leads the Greek pharmaceutical industry, with a high-level production capacity and a workforce exceeding 1,100 employees. Its activities involve all aspects of pharmaceutical production and marketing, and it constantly upgrades the range of its services to the market. Despite the adverse economic conditions in recent years, Vianex has been pursuing new, major cooperation with international pharmaceutical companies, aiming to import innovative pharmaceutical products into the domestic market. Operating in a highly competitive environment, Vianex is well positioned to capitalise on opportunities, relying on its experience, know-how and its unique and specialised production capacity. 






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