Here at Johnson Matthey Fine Chemicals we have a rich history of innovation, dating back to our origins over 200 years ago. Scroll down to view key milestones throughout the course of our business and learn how we’ve grown to become a global, leading fine chemicals provider.
The roots of Macfarlan Smith extend back to the early nineteenth century, when John Fletcher Macfarlan sets up his pharmacy in Edinburgh.
Percival Norton Johnson establishes business as a gold assayer.
Brothers Thomas and Henry Smith, both Licentiates of the Royal College of Surgeons, establish their own separate pharmacies in Edinburgh.
Sir James Simpson discovers the anaesthetic properties of chloroform.
George Matthey joins the company to form Johnson & Matthey.
Macfarlan Smith morphine is used in the first ever hypodermic injection of a human.
J.F. Macfarlan works with Joseph Lister, the pioneer of aseptic surgery, and produces the first sterile dressings.
Johnson Matthey Inc. founded.
Denatonium benzoate (Bitrex®) is identified. It is extremely bitter and is readily detected in the air and in any solution.
Research with Michigan State University begins. This later leads to discovery of the platinum-based anti-cancer drug Cisplatin in 1977.
Macfarlan Smith wins the Queen’s Award for Exports.
Carboplatin is discovered.
Bitrex® is officially recognised as the bitterest substance known to man by the Guinness World Records.
Commercialisation of Johnson Matthey’s platinum-based anti-cancer drugs.
West Deptford plant opens for manufacturing.
Johnson Matthey expands its capabilities into Controlled Substances to gain synergy with existing security infrastructure for Precious Metals.
Johnson Matthey receives the Queen’s Award for work on platinum-based anti-cancer drugs.
The Devens, MA facility opens for business.
Johnson Matthey PLC acquires Macfarlan Smith as an integral part of its Fine Chemicals Division.
Development of large-scale chromatography and separations work at Devens, MA facility.
Johnson Matthey acquires Pharm-Eco Laboratories.
Johnson Matthey acquires Synetix.
Devens facilities begin high potency operations.
The dedicated pharma focused business unit is created - Catalysis and Chiral Technologies.
Acquisition of X-Zyme means the addition of a biocatalysis platform.
Commission of the Yantai China facility.
Biocatalysis platform added. X-Zyme acquisition.
The grand opening of the Shanghai Catalyst plant.
Acquisition of former GSK manufacturing site in Annan, Scotland.
Realignment of the Fine Chemicals division under 4 core offerings: Custom Pharma Solutions, Controlled Substances, Catalysts and APIs & Life Cycle Management.
Johnson Matthey acquire Pharmorphix® solid form business from Sigma-Aldrich bringing world-leading solid-state capabilities.