Like many pharmaceutical companies, APOGEPHA was a chemist's shop in the beginning. In 1882, chemist C. Stephan founded a manufacturing company, which he later merged with the laboratory operations of the Kronenapotheke in Dresden to form an independent company.
After several changes of ownership, the still-existing Kronenapotheke in Dresden and the manufacturing company parted ways in 1913. Five years later, the manufacturing company, which was still operating under the name of “C. Stephan: Fabrik für chemisch-pharmazeutische Produkte” (Factory for Chemical-Pharmaceutical Products), acquired new production facilities in Dresden Striesen, which remain the company’s headquarters today.
The grim economic situation at the end of the First World War and progressive inflation forced the company to set up a joint-stock company (1921).
At this point, the Leowerke factory – and so Ottomar von Mayenburg, the inventor of Chlorodont toothpaste – joined the company management. A few years later, Leowerke took over the company completely, with 100 percent ownership. In 1931, Leowerke sold the pharmaceutical company to the Saxon Pharmacy Cooperative, which wanted to set up its own pharmaceutical production on a larger scale. However, only a short time later, the economic situation forced the chemists to go into liquidation.
APOGEPHA owes its present name to this period; the company has operated under the name “APOGEPHA” since 1931. It is derived from the former company name: “Apothekergenossenschaft für Herstellung und Vertrieb pharmazeutischer Präparate C. Stephan e. G. m. b. H.” (Pharmacists’ Cooperative for Pharmaceutical Preparations).