Establishment of a Rinderpest Control and Eradication Station
The beginnings of Biowet’s operation date back to the inter-war period. One of numerous problems by which the reviving Polish state was afflicted was rinderpest, a highly infectious viral stock disease caused by the Rinderpest virus, eradicated under official supervision. In the face of an overwhelming threat to stock breeders across all Europe, the then veterinary authorities took immediate actions in this respect. To that end, on 19 October 1920 the Ministry of Agriculture and State Properties headed by Juliusz Poniatowski commissioned PINGW (National State Institute of Agriculture in Puławy) to establish a facility manufacturing anti-rinderpest serum. This task was entrusted to Leon Marchlewski (PhD), the then director of the Institute and chemistry professor at the Jagiellonian University, and to Feliks Jaroszyński (PhD), head of the Department of Serology. The manufacturing plant was built 4 km away from Puławy, at the premises of Michałówka forester’s lodge. During the first 16 months of its operation, the plant produced nearly 15.500 litres of the serum, which was used to vaccinate all Polish stock at risk of contracting the disease. This marked the beginning of organized veterinary drug manufacture in Puławy. In 1922, rinderpest was declared to be eradicated. Apart from indisputable merits of the Polish veterinary service, considerable contribution of the serum manufacturer cannot be neglected, and this work has been continued by Biowet Puławy.
Establishment of PZPB Biowet in Puławy
In response to the growing market demand for veterinary medicines, pursuant to the Ordinance of the Minister of Agriculture of 31 December 1951, an autonomous veterinary drug manufacturing plant was established under the official name of Puławskie Zakłady Przemysłu Bioweterynaryjnego – Biowet. The newly-established plant received buildings, some rooms in the main building of the National Veterinary Institute (PIW), as well as the complex of buildings including a plague combating station at Michałówka premises.
Establishment of Biowet Puławy Company
Political changes in Poland brought about a completely new political and economic situation. An analysis of the status quo induced actions aimed at privatisation of PZPB Biowet Puławy. Following numerous discussions, consultations and meetings with the staff, in November 1995 the Works Council passed a resolution regarding transformation of the enterprise into an employee-owned company. Memorandum of association of a private company limited by shares was signed on 29 December 1995. The privatisation process was completed in April 1997. At that point, all employees became shareholders and simultaneously owners of the company.