Dr. med. Bernhard Joos Senior,
a medical doctor, father of the founder of Cilag AG

Dr. Bernhard Joos Junior,
founder of Cilag AG

Robert Wood Johnson
(General Johnson, author of the Johnson & Johnson Credo in 1943)

In the 1930´s, the Joos family owned two stately mansions in a residential area of Schaffhausen. The many trees that surrounded the property made it look like a splendid park. This was where Dr.B. Joos lived and worked as a district and school doctor in his hometown.


In 1933 his son Dr. Bernhard Joos, a chemist by profession, returned to Schaffhausen after a long stay in the United States of America where he had spent his time improving his professional background.

Now that he had acquired specialized knowledge and new ideas, he started the development of novel medicines in a small laboratory on his father´s property. Initially, he developed a preparation he named Pyridacil®, an azo dyestuff derived from pyridine, still used today for the disinfection of the kidneys and the urinary tract.

Nominal share

Encouraged by his first success, in May 1936 Dr. Joos founded his own company, Cilag, which is the acronym for Chemical Industrial Laboratory AG.

Dr. Carl Naegeli, a well-known professor at the University of Zurich, was elected as President of the administrative board. Unfortunately he did not survive to see the industrial production of the experiments he had initiated as an unexpected disease forced him to end his work in 1942. Dr. Bernhard Joos himself then took over the top management as President of the administrative board until he left the company in 1949.

Only a few years after the founding of Cilag, the research team of the young company already had launched no less than six new pharmaceutical preparations. After the war in May 1945, Cilag also started to export the preparations which had been sold successfully in Switzerland until that time. This was the beginning of Cilag´s expansion into the international markets. So Cilag GmbH in Austria was founded in 1949 followed by the 1952 setup up of an affiliated company in Germany and finally in Italy Cilag SA was established during 1961.

The mansion of the family Joos served for the office of the company

In 1959, Cilag joined the major U.S. multinational company Johnson & Johnson, which is headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Being part of Johnson & Johnson provides Cilag with access to comprehensive research. The chemical and pharmaceutical research development activities carried out in Schaffhausen also have heavily expanded.

Throughout the 90's and continuing this decade, Cilag has invested significantly to modernize its facilities and systems. Cilag is now, with 1200 employees, a strategic pharmaceutical development and manufacturing location for Johnson & Johnson.

Cilag Book

The “Geschichte eines Schaffhauser Pharmaunternehmens” (history of a Schaffhausen pharmaceutical enterprise) was written in 2006 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the company’s existence.

 This volume of more than 300 pages describes the remarkable growth of Cilag AG, embedded in its economic, political and technological context. The “Geschichte eines Schaffhauser Pharmaunternehmens” has been published by Chronos Verlag, Zurich, and is available in bookstores or can be obtained directly from Cilag AG.

Building at Hochstrasse 201

Since October 2015, Cilag AG’s market presence has been associated with the image of the Janssen trademark. By adopting the Janssen image, Cilag takes its long-standing membership of the Johnson & Johnson Group and its strategic significance within the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies’ supply chain into account.

Cilag AG

Hochstrasse 201

8200 Schaffhausen


Telephone: +41 52 630 91 11

Telefax: +41 52 630 94 44

This site is published by Cilag AG which is solely responsible for its content. It is intended for visitors from Switzerland.

Last update: 06.12.2022   © Cilag AG, 2001–2023