Vikings separate liquid fat from seals and walruses and drink it to gain strength and better health.
Norway’s first refinery for cod liver oil (tran) is established in Bergen by JC Martens. Cod liver oil becomes an important factor in Norwegian exports.
The Danish researcher J Dyerberg publishes his analysis of the health and diet of the Greenland Eskimos; probably the world’s most groundbreaking study on nutrition and health. The Eskimos consume an abundance of marine fat, but have hardly any instances of cardiac disease.
Dutch researchers prove that the excellent heart health of the Eskimos is due to marine fatty acids called Omega-3.
Knut Erik L Karlsen of Norway founds NaturaMed Pharma. It develops to become the largest company in the Nordics for Omega-3 capsules, surpassing players such as Pfizer, Takeda, and GlaxoSmithKline, thus contributing to the high intake of healthy marine fatty acids in the Nordics.
The Norwegian salmon aquaculture industry is growing fast. NaturaMed Pharma becomes one of the pioneers in utilizing salmon for Omega-3.
NaturaMed Pharma starts its international expansion, entering Sweden in 2001, Finland in 2003, and Denmark in 2005.
On a trip to Prague, Karlsen becomes aware of the low fish consumption and limited knowledge of Omega-3 in the region and sets up operations in the Czech Republic to promote a higher intake of marine fatty acids. His life mission becomes the promotion of fish and Omega-3 in this region of Europe with the highest dietary deficiency of marine fatty acids.
NaturaMed Pharma reaches turnover of €25m and EBITDA of €5m. Karlsen wants to engage himself fully in his mission in Central Europe and sells the Nordic operation to the private equity company Bringwell for €35m.
Knut Erik L Karlsen ramps up the Czech business NaturaMed Pharmaceuticals together with Jan F Kristiansen, expanding to Slovakia in 2008. The company now has sales of €30m and earns €7m (2020).
Knut Erik L Karlsen meets Reidar Nilsen and Ole B Fausa who built The Samlerhuset Group to become Europe’s powerhouse in coins, producing circulation coins for governments in Europe and Asia, and distributing collector coins to millions of collectors. The Group has sales of €130m annually and operations in 15 countries (2020). Nilsen and Fausa both come from Ålesund, Norway’s fishing capital and the center of Norway’s Omega-3 industry, and they share Karlsen’s passion for the export of fish and marine fatty acids.
Karlsen, Nilsen, and Fausa start Natural Pharmaceuticals in Warsaw with the aim of inspiring Poles to consume more Omega-3 derived from salmon.
Natural Pharmaceuticals expands to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia and extends the product line to include other nutraceuticals.
CEO Jonas Törnquist and Marketing Director Anna Kormańska join Natural Pharmaceuticals. This coincides with the start of strong growth – the growth rate over the last 4 years has been phenomenal.
Natural Pharmaceuticals goes digital and invests in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
OmegaMarine Forte+ becomes market leader in the Omega-3 segment in the Czech Republic, Poland, and other Central European countries, contributing to a significant increase in the intake of healthy marine fatty acids in the region.
Over the last 4 years, Natural Pharmaceuticals has seen phenomenal growth – sales climbing from €7m in 2017 to €25m in 2020, with EBITDA of approximately €3m.