The 1930s

1931 - The company is founded as the first manufacturer of commercially prepared intravenous (IV) solutions.

1933 - During its first two years, the company distributed products manufactured by another company in Los Angeles owned by Dr. Don Baxter. But as demand grew in the Midwest, the need for a more central manufacturing base became apparent. In 1933, the company opened its first manufacturing facility in a renovated automobile showroom in Glenview, Illinois. There, six employees turned out the complete line of five IV solutions in glass containers.

1935 - The young company prospered and its products earned a reputation for safety and effectiveness, giving physicians new confidence in IV therapy. In 1935, Dr. Ralph Falk purchased Dr. Baxter´s interest in the company. He also developed a research-and-development function to continue the company´s pioneering advances in medical technology. Strong commitment to R&D remains the key to the company´s future success.

1939 - In 1939, the company, now named Baxter Laboratories, introduced the Transfuso-Vac container, the first sterile, vacuum-type blood collection and storage unit. Before this breakthrough product, blood could be stored for only a few hours; the new container allowed storage for up to 21 days, making blood banking practical for the first time.

The 1940s

1941 - When World War II broke out, many of Baxter's IV and blood-collection products were the only ones to meet the specifications of the U.S. Armed Forces. Temporary plants opened to meet increased demand.

Also in 1941, Baxter introduced the Plasma-Vac container, providing the first means of separating plasma from whole blood and storing it for future use.

1944 - Early in the '40s, a Dutch physician named Willem Kolff began searching for a way to use dialysis, the process by which particles pass through a membrane, to treat patients with kidney failure. In 1944, his work resulted in the Kolff rotating drum kidney, the first machine to remove waste materials successfully from the blood through dialysis. Constructed of wood slats and a cellophane membrane, the Kolff artificial kidney required extensive setup and took over six hours to perform dialysis.

1945 - A young patent lawyer named William B. Graham joined the company as vice president and manager, and in 1953, succeeded founder Ralph Falk as chief executive officer (CEO). Baxter established one of the most outstanding growth records in American industry during Mr. Graham's tenure as CEO. In 1945, sales exceed $1.5 million.

1947 - The company moved from its Glenview facility to a larger plant and headquarters in Morton Grove, Illinois.

1948 - Dr. Carl Walter, a noted Boston surgeon and co-founder of Fenwal Laboratories, invented the non-breakable Blood-Pack plastic blood-collection container.

The 1950s

1950 - The company grew quickly and began increasing production capacity while introducing new products and expanding internationally. In 1950, the company opened its second U.S. manufacturing plant in Cleveland, Mississippi.

1952 - Baxter acquired Hyland Laboratories, the first U.S. company to make human plasma commercially available.

1953 - William B. Graham was named president and chief executive officer, and Baxter began a string of 25 consecutive years of more than 20-percent annual earnings growth.

1954 - The company opened an office in Belgium.

1956 - Seeking a medical company that would help develop his kidney dialysis machine (essentially made up of orange juice cans and a washing machine), Dr. Willem Kolff found an ally in Mr. Graham, who was intrigued by the product and saw its possibilities. By 1956, Baxter medical engineers had improved the original construction and Baxter introduced the first commercially built artificial kidney, making life-saving dialysis possible for people with end-stage renal disease.

1959 - Baxter acquired Fenwal Laboratories. The unit's BLOOD-PACK flexible, plastic container system for collecting and processing whole blood later led to Baxter's development of the VIAFLEX plastic IV bag, another major innovation in IV therapy. The technology was applied eventually to the development of a flexible, plastic container system for dialysis solutions that made possible continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), another Baxter first.

In the late '50s, Baxter formally established an international division to sell Baxter products around the world. Today, approximately 60 percent of Baxter sales come from non-U.S. markets.

The 1960s

A long-term relationship between Baxter and American Hospital Supply Corporation ended. American had been the primary distributor of Baxter products since the 1930s. For the first time, Baxter became committed to its own U.S.-based sales team.

1961 - Baxter stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. During the '60s, Travenol (from inTRAVENous sOLutions) was added to the company name and the Travenol "flag" was introduced.

1962 - Baxter introduced the first disposable blood oxygenator, making open-heart surgery possible.

1968 - Baxter introduced the first commercially produced factor VIII concentrate to treat hemophilia.

1969 - Baxter opened its Round Lake, Illinois research facility.

The 1970s

1970 - The company introduced the VIAFLEX flexible, plastic IV container, a major advance in IV therapy because it allowed the infusion of IV solution within a closed system, reducing the chance for contamination.

Also in 1970, construction began on a new manufacturing facility in Marion, North Carolina, to supply IV solutions in Baxter's new VIAFLEX IV bags. Today, the North Cove plant is among the largest IV solutions plants in the world.

1971 - Baxter joined Fortune magazine's listing of the 500 largest American corporations. Sales for the year reached $242 million.

1975 - The company moved into its current corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois.

1978 - Baxter introduced CAPD as a practical home-based alternative to hemodialysis. The company's sales for the year exceeded $1 billion.

1979 - The company introduced the first automated blood-cell separator.

The 1980s

1980 - Vernon R. Loucks Jr. became president and chief executive officer, succeeding William B. Graham.

1983 - Baxter introduced the first heat-treated factor VIII concentrate for hemophilia, reducing risk of viral transmission.

1985 - Baxter acquired American Hospital Supply Corporation, becoming a broad-based healthcare products distributor in addition to a developer of medical technologies.

1988 - Baxter introduced HEMOFIL M, the first factor VIII purified by chemical and monoclonal technologies.

The 1990s

1991 - The company introduced the INTERLINK IV Access System, the first "needleless" system for IV therapy, protecting healthcare workers from needle-stick accidents.

1992 - Baxter introduced RECOMBINATE Antihemophilic Factor (recombinant), the first genetically manufactured factor VIII concentrate.

1994 - Baxter introduced the HOMECHOICE automated peritoneal dialysis machine, a compact, user-friendly device that cleanses the patient´s blood overnight.

Baxter opened a new plant in Singapore to manufacture peritoneal dialysis (PD) solutions for the Asian market.

1995 - Baxter gained approval in Europe for its ISOLEX CD34+ stem-cell separator.

Baxter opened a plant in China to manufacture PD solutions for the Chinese market.

1996 - Baxter announced plans to open two more plants in China, these to manufacture IV solutions for the Chinese market.

Baxter spun off its medical products distribution business as Allegiance Corporation, renewing its focus on its core technologies of renal technology, biotechnology, and medication delivery.

Baxter received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new COLLEAGUE volumetric infusion pump, designed to provide accurate, cost-effective IV infusion for a broad range of therapies.

1997 - Baxter acquired Immuno International AG, an international leader in infectious disease research and the development of blood products, related biologics and vaccines.

1998 - Baxter acquired Ohmeda´s Pharmaceutical Products Division from The BOC Group, the North American leader in the production of inhalation agents and drugs used for general and local anesthesia.

Baxter received approval from the FDA to market its TISSEEL Fibrin Sealant in the United States, indicated to promote hemostasis and wound-sealing in surgery.

Baxter received approval from the FDA to manufacture RECOMBINATE Antihemophilic Factor (recombinant) at its new biotechnology facility in Thousand Oaks, California.

Baxter introduced the first "triple chamber bag" for total parenteral nutrition.

1999 - Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr., became chief executive officer, succeeding Vernon R. Loucks Jr.

Baxter introduced HomeChoice PRO with PD Link, an advanced at-home kidney dialysis system designed to improve the care of people with chronic kidney failure by using advanced computer technology to automatically monitor and communicate critical therapy data from a patient's home to his or her physician.

The 2000s

2000 - Baxter spun off of its cardiovascular business as a separate, publicly traded entity under the name of Edwards Lifesciences.

Baxter joined four other leading healthcare companies to create the Global Healthcare Exchange, an independent, Internet-based company that facilitates the exchange of information related to buying, selling and distributing medical equipment, devices and healthcare products and related services worldwide.

Baxter´s North Cove, NC, facility received the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.

Baxter completed acquisition of Columbia, Maryland-based North American Vaccine.

2001 - Baxter´s Mountain Home, Arkansas, facility is named a recipient of the prestigious Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.

Baxter acquired Cook Pharmaceutical Solutions, a manufacturer of prefilled injectable drugs in vials and syringes.

Baxter announced that it would participate in the production of approximately 155 million doses of smallpox vaccine for the U.S. government, in conjunction with Acambis Inc.

2002 - Baxter received clearance from the FDA to market the Accura Hemofiltration System for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT).

Baxter received FDA approval of EXTRANEAL PD solution, a non-glucose-based solution that provides increased fluid removal for some dialysis patients.

2003 - Baxter launched its ENLIGHTENEDHRBC bar code technology for flexible IV containers.

The FDA approved ADVATE, the first recombinant factor VIII concentrate for hemophilia made without any added human or animal proteins in the cell culture, purification and final formulation process, eliminating the risk of infections caused by viruses that may be carried in these proteins.

Baxter acquired certain assets from Alpha Therapeutic Corporation, including ARALAST, a plasma-based therapy to treat alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

2004 - Baxter received regulatory approval to market ADVATE in Europe.

Baxter's board of directors elected Robert L. Parkinson, Jr. as the company's new chairman and chief executive officer.

Baxter and Halozyme Therapeutics entered into an exclusive sales and marketing agreement to commercialize HYLENEX, a recombinant form of human hyaluronidase that increases the spreading and absorption of other subcutaneously injected fluids and drugs.

2005 - Baxter received approval from the FDA for GAMMAGARD LIQUID for patients with immune-system disorders.

Baxter introduced FLEXBUMIN, the first albumin in a flexible, plastic container.

Baxter launched the inhalation anesthetic, Sevoflurane.

2006 - Baxter commemorated 75 years of leadership and innovation in healthcare. Baxter made Shanghai, China, the new location for its Asia Pacific regional headquarters.

The FDA approved ADEPT Adhesion Reduction Solution for use in gynecological laparoscopic procedures.

2007 - Baxter introduced the first needle-less IV connector with an antimicrobial coating.

2008 - Baxter received a positive opinion from regulatory authorities in Europe for CELVAPAN, the first cell culture-based H5N1 (avian flu) pandemic vaccine.

Baxter received FDA approval of ARTISS fibrin sealant, the first commercially available slow-setting fibrin sealant used to adhere skin grafts in burn patients.

2009 - Baxter launches HYLENEX recombinant human hyaluronidase in the United States for use in pediatric hydration, providing a subcutaneous alternative to intravenous administration of fluids.

Baxter opens new headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, for its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

The European Commission grants marketing authorization for Baxter's CELVAPAN H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine.

Baxter launches OLIMEL, the company's latest triple-chamber container system for parenteral nutrition, in France and Switzerland.

2010 - Baxter receives regulatory approval in Austria and the Czech Republic for PREFLUCEL seasonal flu vaccine.

Baxter combines its Medication Delivery and Renal businesses to form a new business called Medical Products.

Baxter opens new R&D facility in Alliance Park, Belgium.

2011 - Company formed Baxter Ventures, which will commit up to $200 million in equity to fund early stage products and therapies, and accelerate innovation and growth.

Baxter entered into definitive agreement to acquire Baxa Corporation, a privately held company that manufactures automated compounding systems for parenteral nutrition and other automation technology for hospital pharmacies.

Baxter received European regulatory approval for use of KIOVIG to treat multifocal motor neuropathy, an autoimmune disorder characterized by progressive weakness in the limbs.

FDA approved subcutaneous administration of GAMMAGARD LIQUID for patients with primary immunodeficiency.

FDA approved use of ARTISS fibrin sealant for use in face-lift procedures.

Baxter introduced NEXTERONE, the first and only ready-to-use premixed intravenous version of the anti-arrhythmic agent amiodarone in the United States.

2012 - Expanded the company’s offering of biosurgical and regenerative medical products with the acquisition of Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., and boosted its infusion pump technology with the acquisition of SIGMA International. Baxter also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Gambro AB, a privately held dialysis product company.


Entered into collaboration with Sanquin, the blood supply foundation in the Netherlands, and developed plan to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Covington, GA, both of which will allow the company to expand supply of plasma-based therapies in the future. 


Entered into a novel 20-year partnership with Hemobrás, a public company dedicated to creating greater autonomy for the production of life-saving therapies for people in Brazil, to provide hemophilia patients in Brazil greater access to recombinant FVIII hemophilia treatment.


GAMMAGARD LIQUID was approved by the FDA as a treatment for multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), becoming the first immunoglobulin treatment approved for MMN patients in the U.S.