• AI-for-COVID Imaging Archive
  • Blue Earth Therapeutics

2020 – 2022

In 2020 Bracco Suisse marked its 30th anniversary with the laying of the foundation stone of the new facility in Geneva. A new multipurpose building was laid that enlarged the plant, doubling the Geneva-based factory’s manufacturing capacity. This site represents today one of the Group’s key assets.

In 2021 the CDI, in collaboration with Bracco Imaging, promoted and developed the platform AI-for-COVID Imaging Archive, that gives doctors and healthcare professionals access to a database of radiographic images of COVID patients. By applying artificial intelligence for diagnostic purposes, the project in the field of Radiomics and Genomics enables doctors to obtain a clearer understanding of the progress of COVID-19 in patients. It makes for better triage in hospitals and facilitates the delivery of personalized and timely treatments.

In the same year Blue Earth Diagnostics, a company of Bracco Imaging, expanded its portfolio of personalized diagnostics enriching its oncology portfolio by acquiring the license for an exclusive radiopharmaceutical therapeutic technology. The innovative theranostic technology, which targets the prostate specific membrane antigen (rhPSMA), is designed to improve the treatment of patients with prostate cancer. As a result of its acquisition of this advanced therapeutic rhPSMA technology, Blue Earth Diagnostics has built up a complete and unmatched portfolio in the field of prostate cancer.

In 2022 Bracco Imaging launches new subsidiary, Blue Earth Therapeutics, to advance development of next generation therapeutic radiopharmaceutical technology. Blue Earth Therapeutics has exclusive worldwide rights to therapeutic applications of radiohybrid Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (rhPSMA) radiopharmaceutical technology. Blue Earth Therapeutics has developed a highly optimized lead rhPSMA therapeutic compound, with a focus to increase the delivery of therapeutic radiation to kill tumors and minimize radiation exposure to healthy key organs such as kidney and bone marrow. The creation of Blue Earth Therapeutics marked an exciting new direction for Bracco in addressing important unmet needs in patient health.

In march 2022 Bracco Imaging and Philochem announced that they have entered into a license and collaboration agreement to develop and commercialize a small organic molecule for imaging applications, with proven ability to selectively detect a variety of metastatic solid tumors in cancer patients, paving the way for a new approach to tumor diagnosis.

In the same year Bracco Imaging achieved another milestone signing a worldwide collaboration with Guerbet on Gadopiclenol, an investigational macrocyclic gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA). The efficacy and safety of Gadopiclenol have been evaluated in MRI of the Central Nervous System and MRI of the head and neck, thorax, breast, abdomen, pelvis, musculoskeletal system. The two companies will be marketing the product independently under different brand names, while also collaborating on manufacturing, as well as research and development programs and activities to obtain regulatory approvals.

  • Fulvio Bracco and Jonathan Allis at the acquisition of Blue Earth Diagnostic
  • Fulvio Renoldi Bracco at the renewal of the Bracco Sine Joint Venture partnership until 2037
  • Diana Bracco celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Diagnostic Italian Center (CDI)
  • Cesano Maderno names a street to Fulvio Bracco


In 2015, Bracco received the 13th edition Sodalitas Social Award, the most prestigious honor in Italy for Corporate Sustainability. The company has been recognized in the Smart Community, Entrepreneurship and Social Inclusion category for the project “Women: the seeds of development”. It’s an international cooperation initiative launched in Benin near the Fulvio Bracco School, which educates around 1,000 young Africans.

The Bracco project has provided a unique opportunity to a cooperative of over 100 women who process and sell cassava as well as other local products. The initiative was chosen for its multi-stakeholder model, for the social innovation of development within the territory itself and for the tangible betterment of the quality of life in one of the poorest regions of Africa.

In 2016, ACIST Medical Systems has inaugurated its new European headquarters, combining the Maastricht offices and the Sittard assistance center and distribution facility into one large site that is spread over about 10,000 square meters in the Trilandis Business Park in Heerlen. ACIST Medical Systems is an American company based in Minnesota that was acquired by Bracco in 2001 and is now the world leader in solutions for the controlled administration of contrast agents in cardiology, with subsidiaries in Europe and Asia (among which Japan and China).

Over 1 million people annually undergo cardiovascular angiographic procedures using ACIST solutions and that number is set to grow.

In 2016, the CDI, our outpatient medical facility founded by Fulvio Bracco, celebrates its 40th anniversary. From the entrance of the first patient in the spring of 1975, the Italian Diagnostic Center saw a significant increase in its activity, ranging from over 83,000 examinations in 1975 to 5,200,000 last year, followed by a total of 18 million patients.

To celebrate this anniversary, the Italian Diagnostic Center organized a conference at the Unicredit Tower in Gae Aulenti Square in Milan, entitled "Prevention, early diagnosis and public health", focused on the values that have always characterized its activity associated with some of the more current topics in the medical and scientific fields: genetics, nutrition and correct lifestyles, advanced diagnostic tools.

Bracco and Dompé announce that they have signed an agreement through which the Pharma Division of the Bracco Group will become part of the Italian Biopharmaceutical group led by Sergio Dompé.

The agreement with Dompé is the climax of an all-Italian industrial project that promotes the values and traditions of two prestigious companies that have helped to write important pages in the history of Italian pharmaceuticals.

In 2016 the Bracco Group and Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding, the second most important Chinese pharmaceutical company, have renewed the Bracco Sine Joint Venture partnership until 2037. The renegotiation process began in 2014 and reached its first major milestone at the end of 2015, when both Companies expressed the wish to continue their fruitful collaboration for the coming years.

In 2017, the year in which Bracco is celebrating the ninetieth anniversary of the birth of the Group, the Mayor of Cesano Maderno, Pietro Luigi Ponti, has decided to name the street in front of Bracco Imaging production plant in the memory of the Cavaliere del Lavoro Fulvio Bracco. A man of industry and an innovator with the insight to see the value of research and the importance of globalization, Fulvio Bracco was a pioneer of the family capitalism that made Italy one of the most respected and advanced countries in the world.

In 2019 Bracco Imaging Expands Portfolio of Personalized Diagnostics with the Acquisition of Blue Earth Diagnostics.

  • Bracco poster from the 2000s: Iopamidol, contrast agent
  • Bracco production
  • Bracco Research Center, Colleretto Giacosa
  • Researcher using microscope
  • Bracco Research Center, Colleretto Giacosa
  • Bracco Research Center buildings, Colleretto Giacosa
  • Production activities at the Bracco Research Center, Colleretto Giacosa
  • SPIN site of Torviscosa
  • Research and control laboratories at the SPIN site, Torviscosa
  • Bracco Sine, Shanghai, China
  • Production activities at Bracco Sine, Shanghai, China
  • Acist Medical System, USA
  • Acist Medical System Offices, USA
  • E-Z-EM Canada
  • BIPSO GmbH, Singen, Germany
  • Bracco Injeneering, Switzerland
  • Bracco Diagnostic, USA

2001 – 2014


2001 sees the launch of Sonovue, a second-generation contrast agent conceived in the Bracco Research labs in Geneva and developed at the world’s leading ultrasound research centres.

International growth continues with a number of new companies established around the world:

In 2001 Bracco opened in Colleretto Giacosa near Ivrea, within the structure Bioindustry Park Canavese, the largest Bracco Research Center active in the initial discovery phase of new molecules and new sustainable processes (new forms of packaging). The CRB is set up to conduct basic research activities, develop and produce imaging agents. It employs new-generation tools to handle a broad range of activities encompassing discovery, industrialization and direct production for the market. Specifically, the center works on advanced magnetic resonance imaging applications and nanotechnologies for diagnostics. Its research projects investigate new molecules, which are assessed for subsequent development, and produce scientific literature (an annual average of 15 articles in leading journals) and patents.

In 2002 it was also inaugurated SPIN, a production unit dedicated to the contrast media for X-Ray Torviscosa (Udine). SPIN is a reclamation of a famous industrial site constructed in the 1930s, located in Torviscosa, in a beautiful lagoon area near Udine, in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

The aim of the project was to build new premises of excellence for Spin, a Bracco Group company specialised in the production of contrast media. Furthermore, the technical objective of the project was to rebuild the buildings from the inside, without altering the exterior architecture, considered of great historical value. The result is a modern and futuristic production facility - inserted in a tower, stemming from significant structural works - and a new research laboratory.

The plant is located in a strategic area, not only due to its position in the heart of Europe, but also for the territory's deep-rooted chemical know how and skills, resulting from the virtuous integration of industry and territory.

The internationalization meanwhile continues and Bracco opens several other locations around the world.

Since 2002 Bracco is directly present in China with the Bracco Sine Pharmaceutical Corp. Ltd. Site in Shanghai, a joint-venture partner of Sine Pharma. The initiative marks a further step in the expansion strategy of the Bracco Group in China, where the company was already present with offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, and with a group of specialists engaged in clinical research. Bracco in China has also been able to build strong relationships with the scientific, academic and healthcare Chinese hospitals undergoing rapid development and diffusion of advanced technologies. The Group now offers integrated solutions for medical imaging, in which it is among the first three "top players" in the country.

In the following years Bracco continues to land in other countries of strategic importance to the Group:

  • (2001) Bracco Far East Ltd based in Hong Kong.
  • (2001) Bracco UK Limited, for imaging operations in the UK and Ireland.
  • (2003) Bracco Oesterreich GmbH, for commercial operations in Austria.
  • (2010) Bracco Imaging Scandinavia AB, for commercial operations in Scandinavia.
  • (2011) Bracco Imaging Slovakia, for commercial operations in Slovakia.
  • (2011) Bracco Imaging Polska, for commercial operations in Poland.
  • (2011) Bracco Imaging Czech, for commercial operations in the Czech Republic.

As for acquisitions, in 2001 ACIST Medical Systems a leader in advanced systems management and administration of contrast media, based in Minneapolis, joined the Bracco Group. ACIST Medical Systems is today a global leader in the contrast agents injection systems for cardiology, radiology and diagnostic purposes. Its products are used in over 40 countries worldwide including medical centers, universities and hospitals of international repute in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

More than 10 million patients have already used ACIST injection systems in cardiovascular angiography procedures.

Another acquisition of fundamental importance is EZ-EM, in 2007. E-Z-EM is a leading manufacturer of contrast agents for gastrointestinal radiology. The Company also offers the first family of CT injectors on the market with a patented technology that can help detect contrast extravasation, and offers a complete product set for the virtual colonoscopy practitioner.

Other acquisitions between 2011 and 2012:

  • (2011) BIPSO, a contrast agent production facility in Singen, Germany, near Konstanz.
  • (2011) Swiss Medical Care, a Swiss company based in Lausanne active in research, production and marketing of automatic contrast agent delivery systems
  • (2012) Justesa Imagen Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, an important contrast agent distributor active throughout South America.

During that period Bracco also establishes direct operations in Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Today the company is a global leader in diagnostic imaging and is able to offer a portfolio of products and solutions for all diagnostic modalities. Furthermore, the Bracco brand is widely known among the general public in Italy, for drugs, OTC products, supplements, medical devices and cosmetics.

  • Bracco Imaging building, Ceriano Laghetto
  • Bracco Imaging plant, Ceriano Laghetto
  • The directional center of Bracco Imaging, Ceriano Laghetto
  • Staff at the Bracco Imaging plant, Ceriano Laghetto
  • The sterile laboratories of the Bracco Imaging plant, Ceriano Laghetto
  • Production activities at the Bracco Imaging plant, Ceriano Laghetto
  • Eisai Logo
  • Bracco Suisse S.A. building, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Bracco Suisse S.A. buildings,  Geneva, Switzerland
  • Bracco Suisse S.A. laboratories,  Geneva, Switzerland

1988 - 2000

The Internationalisation Process

In 1988 a very big Bracco facility opens in Ceriano Laghetto, near Milan, on a 300,000 m2 site, to produce raw materials for pharmaceutical use, mainly contrast agents for imaging diagnostics.

Bracco begins a ten-year period of important international growth.

Acquisitions, joint-ventures and new business units enhance the Group structure.

The first step is taken in 1987 with the acquisition of the Swiss company Sintetica SA of Mendrisio, now Bracco Suisse.

In 1989 Bracco Research SA in Geneva was established as Bracco’s second R&D unit, specialising in contrast agents for ultrasound scanning and systems for controlled release of active agents; while in 1990 Bracco Eisai (51% Bracco - 49% Eisai) was established as a joint-venture with Eisai of Tokyo set up to produce and market a number of Bracco contrast agents in Japan.

The expansion in the U.S. market took place in 1994 through the acquisition of Squibb Diagnostics, Princeton (NJ) a company of the multinational giant Bristol Myers Squibb. Two years after the establishment of Bracco Diagnostics Inc, Bracco Research USA (Princeton), R&D Bracco third unit, was opened. The Unit was specialized in MRI and nuclear medicine. Today the United States is the largest market of Bracco.

The period also sees the formation of Bracco Diagnostics Inc. Canada, a branch of Bracco Diagnostics Inc. USA, and Bracco Imaging BV in Plan-les-Ouates (Geneva), now Bracco Suisse, specialising in contrast agents for ultrasound scanning.

In 1994 the Bracco-Byk Gulden GmbH joint-venture begins operations to prepare the documents for the approval of contrast agents in Germany, France, Benelux, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

The highlight of 1995 is the integration of the 3 research centres in Milan, Geneva and Princeton: Milan focuses on R&D into contrast agents for radiology and magnetic resonance, Bracco Research Geneva on ultrasound scanning and Bracco Research USA Princeton on magnetic resonance and nuclear medicine.

In 1999 the Bracco family and Merck reach an agreement for Bracco to purchase Merck’s 50% share in the Group’s diagnostic and pharmaceuticals operations.

  • Diana and Fulvio Bracco with professor Ernst Felder
  • Iopamidol, contrast agent
  • Bracco poster 60s, contrast agents
  • Fulvio Bracco
  • Bracco poster 60s: Freeze dried and Ilvin
  • Bracco poster 60s: Ilvico
  • Bracco poster 60s: Revonal and Nasivin
  • Fulvio Bracco
  • Bracco poster 60s: vitamins

1955 - 1988


In 1955 Cilag Italiana changes its name to Industria Chimica Dr Fulvio Bracco, and again in 1958, to Bracco Industria Chimica Spa.

In 1962 Bracco researchers develop the first original contrast agent from their in-house research, with reduced toxicity and high tolerability: iodamide.

By 1965 the company has operations worldwide; in 1966 Diana Bracco, daughter of the company chairman, joins the firm.

Despite the difficulties experienced by the pharmaceuticals industry in the 1970s, Bracco intensifies its R&D work in imaging diagnostics, establishing itself in just a few years as a world leader in the production of second-generation non-ionic contrast agents.

In 1981 sees the launch in Italy and Germany of Iopamidol, the first non-ionic contrast agent developed from Bracco research, with outstanding tolerability, whose stability means it can be stored in phials for unlimited periods of time.

In 1976 the partnership between Bracco and Squibb & Sons Inc. USA for the sale of contrast agents in the USA becomes operational.

In march 17th, 1977 Diana Bracco is appointed General Manager.

In the second half of the 1980s Bracco Spa is a leading international producer of non-ionic contrast agents. Other formulations achieve a positive response and important results, including the anti-tuberculosis drug pyrazinamide, included in the WHO list of essential pharmaceuticals, of which Bracco is the leading world producer.

  • Elio and Fulvio Bracco
  • Bracco plant and headquarters, formerly Italmerck, via Renato Fucini in Milan, 1930s
  • Fulvio Bracco in his office
  • Bracco plant and headquarters, formerly Italmerck, via Renato Fucini in Milan, 1930s
  • Bracco History
  • The Bracco plant in Lambrate, Milan, 1950s
  • The laboratories of the Bracco plant in Lambrate, Milan, 1950s
  • Il Professore Ernst Felder
  • Posters of Bracco products between 30s and 50s: Margnorbin, Diazil e Cebion
  • The laboratories of the Bracco plant in Lambrate, Milan, 1950s
  • Side view of the buildings of the Bracco plant in Lambrate, Milan, 1950s
  • Bracco plants in Lambrate, ethical production, Milan, 1950s
  • Facade of a building of the Bracco plants in Lambrate, Milan, 1950s

1927 - 1955


1927, in Milan Elio Bracco establishes the Italian Prodotti E. Merck company.

In 1930 the company becomes Italmerck Spa and the following year it builds a factory in Via Renato Fucini with a pentagonal floorplan, echoed in the geometric design of the Bracco logo more than thirty years later.

In 1934 Fulvio Bracco officially joins the company, which begins Cebion's marketing the same year. Cebion is an innovative product based on vitamin C recently discovered by the Hungarian professor Szent-Györgyi.

From an initial workforce of 17 employees, the company now has 82 employees: 41 factory workers (including 30 women), 26 office staff, 12 chemists, technicians and physicians, and 3 managers.

In 1936, the Anonima Bracco company, already Italmerck is established.


With the outbreak of war, the company experiences hard years. For the entire duration of the war, the company undertakes to hold open the jobs of employees who have enlisted and pay their salaries to their families; it also organises a series of other social initiatives (holiday camps, subsidies, etc.).

Procurement of raw materials from Merck Germany becomes difficult, Bracco and Cilag AG Switzerland form Cilag Italiana, to guarantee the supply of raw materials. Bracco thus becomes a chemicals producer.

In 1946 Bracco presents new contrast agents on the market and in 1948 resumes production of medical products; a key event is the market debut of a product of great importance, Diazil.

In 1949 Bracco approves the project for the construction of a new factory in Milan (Lambrate), completed in 1953.

Ten years later, the Lambrate facility has a surface area of 50,000 m2, of which 30,000 indoors, housing production lines and the new research labs headed by professor Ernst Felder (a key scientific figure in the company), whose work focuses largely on chemotherapy and contrast agents for diagnostic radiology.