Company History

The name of Cardon has been linked to pharmaceuticals since 1967, when Chris Cardon’s father André Cardon founded  a chain of pharmacies and later also one of Belgium’s first clinical laboratories.  In 1993, Chris Cardon graduated as a pharmacist from the University of Ghent after which he took over the family business .  In 1995, he completed an MBA at the Vlerick Leuven-Gent Managment School.

In 1996, Chris  Cardon created Mooss Pharma, a company which developed human OTC products that were exclusively distributed by pharmacists. Mooss Pharma quickly developed into an important player on the Belgian market, which lead in 2001 to the integration of the activities of Mooss Pharma into Omega Pharma, a leading European player in human OTC-products .

In 2003, pharmacist Chris Cardon created CARDON Pharmaceuticals NV (“CARDON”) to seize opportunities in the animal health industry. The company started with the development of a number of original and high-quality OTC-products for companion animals which are currently exported to more than 30 countries, mainly in Europe and Asia.

In 2005, CARDON incorporated the business activities of Vetred S.L., a specialized distributor for orthopaedic instruments. This new activity and product portfolio allowed CARDON to create a more profound relationship with orthopaedic surgeons in Europe and position itself once again as a provider of added-value for veterinarians.

The ambition of CARDON was not only to develop OTC-products but also to develop and market registered veterinary drugs. In early 2006, CARDON acquired its first registered veterinary medicine: an anti-bacterial eye gel for dogs CLINAGEL Vet®. At the end of the first quarter of 2006, CARDON acquired 3 companies in Belgium: Pharmavet-Medini, a veterinary wholesaler & distribution company, Instrulife, a company specialized in veterinary equipment and Ecuphar, a company with a broad range of pharmaceutical products for both farm and companion animals. These acquisitions enabled the company to strengthen its market position in Belgium and to create a stable platform for further growth with an enlarged product portfolio for export. After the acquisitions in 2006 it was decided to change the company name into ECUPHAR NV. Consolidated sales of ECUPHAR in 2005 reached approx. 18.5 million euro and surpassed 24.9 million euro in 2006.

In 2007 ECUPHAR finalised a successful capital increase of 10 million € to finance its planned growth based on enlargement of its product portfolio and strengthening of its sales and marketing structure.

In 2008 the company set up its own sales organisation in the Netherlands and acquired several new product portfolio’s, among which a range of natural feed supplements and phyto products for companion animals (Animamed), a range of equine nutraceuticals (Equipharma), a range of registered pharmaceuticals for pigions (Ornis) and a range of registered medications for companion animals (Ace Veterinary Products).

The Irish company Nutri-Science joined ECUPHAR in 2009. Nutri-Science develops and manufactures a broad range of feed supplements for horses and companion animals and has its own manufacturing facility.

Beginning of 2011 ECUPHAR acquired an important veterinary portfolio together with the experienced veterinary marketing and sales team from Riemser Arzneimittel AG. This acquisition gave ECUPHAR direct access to the German veterinary market where it operates under the name Ecuphar GmbH.

In 2015 Ecuphar acquired the animal health business of Laboratorios del Dr. Esteve, S.A., which resulted in expansion into the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese animal health markets.