The Actelion founding team: André J. Mueller, Jean-Paul Clozel, Martine Clozel, Walter Fischli and Thomas Widmann (from left to right).

In 1996, a small group of researchers and managers began exploring the idea of creating a new biopharmaceutical company.

Actelion was founded in 1997 by a small group of researchers and managers from Roche. CEO Jean-Paul Clozel and our founding members built the company’s legacy on ground-breaking innovation and an unwavering commitment to patients. Actelion fundamentally changed the way pulmonary arterial hypertension is treated and became a recognized global leader in this space. We also have a number of specialty therapies and compounds in late-stage development for pulmonary hypertension, multiple sclerosis and infectious diseases.


Actelion went public in April 2000, with registered shares listed on the SWX New Market. During our 20-year history, Actelion grew to more than 2,600 employees in over 30 affiliates, reaching more than 50 markets with our medicines.


What made Actelion different was the deliberate decision to create its own discovery capability, to develop its own drugs and then to market them around the globe. The founders did not opt to pass the drugs along and quickly recoup their investment, but set about establishing a company with a clear ambition to find new drugs and treat more patients.

Over time, Actelion established a very active drug discovery and development organization, created a sales and marketing organization that spans the globe, including operations in Japan, and acquired four more products.


In June 2017, Actelion became a member of the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies. Having built an attractive, growing business with world-class commercial and clinical development capabilities, Johnson & Johnson recognized that Actelion would make an excellent fit with their business. Adding Actelion's portfolio to the already strong Janssen Pharmaceuticals business marked a unique opportunity for Johnson & Johnson to expand its portfolio with leading, differentiated in-market medicines and promising late-stage products. For Actelion to be able to leverage Johnson & Johnsons established global presence and commercial strength, joining efforts allowed accelerate growth and patient access to these important therapies.

Group picture of all Actelion employees in 2001