Arrigo Recordati

"Research is the only true engine of growth for the pharmaceutical industry"

Arrigo Recordati

Arrigo Recordati believed research was the most powerful asset for the pharmaceutical industry. He became head of the family business in 1951, at the age of 23, and transformed the family pharmaceutical laboratory employing 325 people into an international company listed since 1984 on the Italian Stock Exchange.

Arrigo Recordati’s remarkable life came to a premature end at the age of 71, in 1999.

Under his direction, in 1953 the company’s headquarters and pharmaceutical plant moved from Correggio, a small town in the Emilia region of Italy, to Milan, the capital of Italian business. During this time Arrigo Recordati provided the company with a stronger competitive advantage by updating its research facilities with advanced pharmacological laboratories.

In the 1950s and 60s, Arrigo Recordati relied on two strong beliefs: scientific research and internationalization. To maximize the results of Recordati research, he established subsidiaries in Brazil and Mexico. Arrigo Recordati also fostered a close relationship with the United States, signing among other things a strategic partnership agreement with Syntex Corporation (acquired by Roche Corporation in 1990) – at that time a company involved in cutting-edge research on the synthesis of steroid hormones.

Arrigo Recordati strongly believed in the power of scientific research to drive the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and provide products beneficial to public health and individual well-being. Efloxate (1955), a coronary vasodilator for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, was the first compound to originate from Recordati’s research laboratories during Arrigo Recordati’s leadership. Other original molecules developed and marketed during his leadership include: dimefline (1958), a respiratory analeptic, flavoxate (1957), a urinary antispasmodic, tibezonium iodide (1971), an oral antiseptic, fenticonazole (1978), an antimycotic and lercanidipine (1984), a calcium channel blocker for the treatment of hypertension. In particular, flavoxate was the first original New Chemical Entity developed by an Italian company to be approved by FDA (Federal Drug Administration) in the United States.

Arrigo Recordati also believed that even small companies – if managed with vigor and imagination – can compete effectively in the pharmaceutical arena. In 1984 Recordati was listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, completing its transformation from a small, family-run
operation to a modern, professional, publicly listed company.

After 48 years of intense and challenging leadership, Arrigo Recordati passed away, leaving a solid, international business projected into the future.