It all started with one of the world’s first artificial kidneys invented by Professor Nils Alwall. In 1961, industrialist Holger Crafoord met Professor Alwall at a social event and listened to his story. Holger Crafoord was highly impressed, and felt compelled to develop and market this life-saving innovation.
Development work was initiated in Lund, Sweden, in 1964. The company adopted the
name Gambro, which comes from the Swedish abbreviation for “Gamla Brogatans Sjukvårdsaffär Aktiebolag". Roughly translated, this means “Old Bridge Street Medical Supplies Company". Mass-production of single-use artificial kidneys and dialysis machines began in 1967. The company’s first plant outside of Sweden was built in Hechingen, Germany, in the 1970s.
Over the next three decades, acquisitions helped broaden Gambro’s range of products and services. Hospal, COBE, REN and Vivra all became part of the Gambro Group in this period. REN and Vivra were divested in 2005 when Gambro sold all of its US dialysis clinics to US dialysis company DaVita.
On April 3, 2006, Indap AB, joint-owned by Swedish investment companies EQT and Investor AB, announced a public cash offer to the shareholders of Gambro to acquire all outstanding shares in the company. The new ownership structure of Gambro became effective in June 2006.
Since then, the group has been split into three free-standing companies: Gambro, focusing on extracorporeal therapies, CaridianBCT focusing on blood component technologies, and Diaverum, which operates the former Gambro dialysis clinics and has been sold to investment company Bridgepoint. Thus, the new Gambro is a focused Med-tech company with a clear aim to become the number one in its extracorporeal field.
Milestones in the Gambro Story:
Gambro was founded in Lund, Sweden by Holger Crafoord, an industrialist who decided to develop and market one of the first artificial kidneys.
The “Ad-modum-Alwall” dialyzer is launched.
Introduction of AN69, the first synthetic high flux membrane
The first plant outside Sweden is opened in Hechingen, Germany.
The AK-10, the first computerized dialysis machine, is introduced at a renal care congress in Helsinki, Finland.
Gambro shares are listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
Hospal (a European company founded in 1977 by the merger of Sandoz and Rhône-Poulenc) is acquired. The BiCart-cartridge is launched, the world’s first dry concentrate system.
The Polyflux dialyzer is introduced, the first in the successful Gambro synthetic biocompatible Polyamide membrane dialyzer series
COBE (American company founded in 1964 – active in renal care, blood component technology and cardiovascular surgery) is acquired.
First Gambro dialysis clinic is opened in Lund, Sweden.
Prisma, the first monitor for Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) in the intensive care unit, is introduced.
Gambro becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Incentive, an international technology based industrial group.
Incentive changes its name to Gambro, heralding the start of a new era.
A new state-of-the-art plant for the production of dialyzers is opened in Hechingen, Germany. A new fleet of both HD and PD monitors are launched: Serena, AK 95 S, AK 200 S & AK 200 ULTRA S.
Prismaflex, next generation CRRT system is launched, as is the WRO 300 water treatment unit. Gambro celebrates its 40th anniversary.