History of the company

The Company was founded in 1928 through the merger of Société des Usines Chimiques du Rhône (Society of Rhône Chemical Factories) from Lyon and Établissements Poulenc Frères (Poulenc Brothers Company) from Paris founded by Étienne Poulenc, a 19th century Parisian apothecary and brought to prominence by his second and third sons Emile and Camille Poulenc (1864–1942). In 1950, the company synthesized chlorpromazine
Chlorpromazine is a typical antipsychotic...

 which it sold to Smith, Kline & French (today part of GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline plc is a global pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company headquartered in London, United Kingdom...

) who marketed the drug as Thorazine. In January 1999, Rhône-Poulenc merged with Hoechst AG
Hoechst AG
Hoechst AG was a German chemicals then life-sciences company that became Aventis Deutschland after its merger with France's Rhône-Poulenc S.A. in 1999...

 to form Aventis
Aventis was a pharmaceutical and lab assay testing company. It was formed in 1999 when Rhône-Poulenc S.A. merged with Hoechst AG. The merged company was based in Strasbourg, France. With its headquarters in Strasbourg, Aventis was the product of the first transnational merger to combine large...

. In 2004, Aventis went on to merge with Sanofi-Synthélabo
Sanofi-Synthélabo was a Paris-based pharmaceutical company formed in 1999, when Sanofi merged with Synthélabo. Sanofi-Aventis was formed in 2004 when Sanofi-Synthélabo merged with Aventis.Sanofi was created in 1973....

 forming Sanofi-Aventis
Sanofi S.A. is a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, France, the world's fourth-largest by prescription sales. Sanofi engages in the research and development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products for sale principally in the prescription market, but the...

, the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

In 1997, the chemicals division of Rhône-Poulenc was spun off into a separate company named Rhodia
Rhodia (company)
Rhodia is a group specialized in fine chemistry, synthetic fibers and polymers. Rhodia is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange on NYSE Euronext. The company services the consumer goods, automotive, energy, manufacturing and processes and electronics markets...

. The agricultural chemicals division of Rhône-Poulenc, known as Aventis CropScience after the merger with Hoechst, was sold to the German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer in 2002.

Rhône-Poulenc originally funded the Rhône-Poulenc Prizes, now known as the Royal Society Prizes for Science Books.

[1] Note:- Emile Poulenc was the father of the French composer Francis Poulenc
Francis Poulenc
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music...



  • Chauveau, Sophie. 1999. L'invention pharmaceutique : la pharmacie française entre l'Etat et la société au XXe siècle. Le Plessis-Robinson: Sanofi-Synthélabo.
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