On October 12 in the year 1857, one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical industry was born in Vermont, United States. His name was Dr. Wallace Calvin Abbott, the founder of Abbott Laboratories, one of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies.
Wallace Abbott was the son of a farmer. He attended the University of Michigan and became a physician at age 28. In 1888, he began producing and selling medicine from his own drug store in Chicago. His products were concocted from active ingredients of plants and herbs which he then made into granules for easy measurement of exact dosage. He incorporated his business as Abbott Alkaloidal Company in 1894 but it was renamed as Abbott Laboratories in 1916.
In 1907, Abbott Laboratories opened its first international office in London. During World War I, the company was given authority to manufacture drugs patented in Germany. In 1916, first synthetic medicine was produced. It was a breakthrough antiseptic drug called Chlorazene.
Outside the medicine business, Wallace Abbott engaged in publishing medical journals which he himself edited.
In 1921, Wallace Abbott died at the age of 64. He had a daughter with his wife Clara. In 2020, Abbott Laboratories was ranked 104 in the Fortune 500 List of largest companies in the United States with revenues of $31.9 billion and employees of over 107,000. Its famous products include Xience V drug-eluting stent, antibody Humira, Glucerna, Similac baby formula, and Ensure. It is also one of the research pioneers in the treatment of HIV, psoriasis and the recent Covid-19.