BIAL celebrates its centenary in 2024

BIAL celebrates its centenary in 2024


BIAL celebrates its centenary in 2024

Initiatives planned throughout the year will establish relationships with employees, partners and the community.


The largest Portuguese pharmaceutical company was established in April 1924, in the centre of Porto, founded by Álvaro Portela. Managed by the fourth generation of the family, BIAL today is an innovative international company, with its own medicines sold worldwide. The celebration of the centenary extends throughout the year, with initiatives involving employees, partners and the general public, notably the holding of a conference on 25 June, in Porto.


Throughout its 100-year history, BIAL has witnessed several political periods, between dictatorships and revolutions, times of strong economic shocks and social upheavals, wars and technological and scientific transformations, always focused on creating solutions to improve people's quality of life.

Today, BIAL is a strong economic group, one of the main players in the business, industrial and biomedical research landscape at the national level, being a promoter of scientific knowledge and a hub for attracting Portuguese and international talent. BIAL is also increasingly being recognised internationally for the discovery and development of new medicines, particularly within the neuroscience field.


António Portela, the CEO of the company, states that ‘BIAL's centenary is a unique moment in the life of the company, but also a milestone for Portugal.’ He continues: ‘We’re celebrating the past, the capacity and the vision of all the generations that came before us, but above all, we're celebrating the future that we’re building. We want BIAL to increasingly assert itself as an innovative group, with medicines that transform the lives of patients around the world.


To unequivocally mark this historic moment, BIAL is presenting itself with an image and signature alluding to the date and which are intended to reflect the pharmaceutical company's journey. ‘Inspired by the future’ reflects the company's positioning over the years, in which it has always looked to the future, specifically with the commitment to a long-term R&D project in the interest of health and, consequently, the future of people. The centenary image also reflects the pharmaceutical company's values and the group's main aspirations and inspirations: people, science, health and life.


As it celebrates its 100 years of existence, BIAL also wants to emphasise its commitment to the future of the nation and of humanity and, in this regard, it is organising a large conference to be held on 25 June, in Porto, with the aim of analysing the challenges facing Portugal and the world, particularly in terms of the economic, social and health fields.


Still within the scope of the celebrations, and solidifying its desire to contribute to a more comprehensive historiography of the pharmaceutical industry in Portugal, a documentary will be produced which will have the evolution of the company itself as its leading theme, and which will express all aspects of the political, social, economic and scientific contexts in which it developed.

With a website dedicated to the centenary already online, at, a media campaign is also planned, in addition to various internal activities, which will include a commemorative event, visits to the facilities by the children of current and retired employees, the painting of a mural dedicated to the

last 100 years and a 100 km run, organised by employees, which will connect the company's original headquarters in the centre of Porto to the current facilities in Trofa.


As we celebrate 100 years, we renew the entrepreneurial and pioneering vision that has spanned generations, and which continues to guide us. The focus on innovation, which is naturally associated with internationalisation, allowed us to transform the company and, over the last fifteen years, when we launched our medicine for epilepsy, we more than doubled our turnover. The work, professionalism, commitment and dedication of our people, all those who have worked for the company and those who are currently at the company, are the basis of what we have been able to build and the course of development and growth that we want to continue to strengthen, always within a framework of innovation,’ emphasises António Portela.


BIAL was the first, and is still the only pharmaceutical company in Portugal with medicines that it has developed itself, and with nationally patented medicines on the market. Since its launch in 2009, Zebinix (eslicarbazepine acetate), aimed at treating epilepsy, has impacted the lives of 800,000 patients. In 2016, BIAL launched its own medicine for Parkinson's Disease, Ongentys (opicapone) which is sold in several European countries, the USA, Japan and Australia, among many other markets, and is used by more than 85,000 patients annually.


At this special moment in its history, BIAL's primary objective is to continue to be an innovative biopharmaceutical company with a global presence. In recent years, on average, BIAL has funnelled more than 20% of its annual turnover towards R&D, which is focused on neuroscience and rare diseases. BIAL has been enhancing its international presence, an aspect that it wants to strengthen, particularly in Europe and in the most relevant pharmaceutical markets, such as the USA, China and Japan. Sales in international markets, in around 50 countries, represent 75% of the company's turnover, which in 2023 reached 340 million euros.


BIAL celebrates its centenary in 2024

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