Vikings separate liquid fat from seal and walrus 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 a large Norwegian export article.
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 abundance of marine fat but have hardly any cardiac diseases.
Dutch researchers prove that the excellent heart health of the Eskimos is down to marine fatty acids called omega-3.
Knut Erik L Karlsen of Norway is founding NaturaMed Pharma. Over the years it develops to become the largest company in the Nordics for omega-3 capsules, surpassing players such as Pfizer, Takeda and GlaxoSmithKline, contributing to high intake of healthy marine fatty acids in the Nordics.
The Norwegian salmon aqua culture 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 Czech Republic to promote higher intake of marine fatty acids. His life mission becomes promotion of fish and omega-3 in the region of Europe with highest deficiency of marine fatty acids in the diet.
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 sells for €30 and earns €7m (2020).
Knut Erik L Karlsen meets Reidar Nilsen and Ole B Fausa who have 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. Sales of €130m annually and operations in 15 countries (2020). Nilsen and Fausa come from Ålesund, Norway’s fishing capital and center of Norway’s omega-3 industry and they share Karlsen’s passion for 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 made of salmon.
Natural Pharmaceuticals expands to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia and extend product line to 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 four 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 Czech Republic, Poland and other Central European countries, contributing to significant growth in intake of healthy marine fatty acids in the region.
Over the last four years Natural Pharmaceuticals has seen phenomenal growth – sales going from €7m in 2017 to €25m in 2020, with EBITDA of ca €3m.