Home » About us » Overview » History

The origins of Iris Pharma date back to the late 1980’s when Dr Pierre-Paul Elena, a former research officer at Laboratoires Dulcis-Allergan (a French firm specializing in ophthalmic prescription drugs), identified a niche in the field of ocular drug development and recognized the pharmaceutical industry's growing need for preclinical outsourcing. This led Dr Elena to found Iris Pharma in 1989.

Iris Pharma is considered as a pioneer outsourcing services provider for ocular drug development and one of the first services companies to recognize the potential of this emerging market. Today this specialist CRO is one of the world leaders and most respected global drug development services companies in ophthalmology.


2012 Iris Pharma and RxGen Partner to Deliver Seamless and Superior Drug & Medical Devices Development Services in Ophthalmology.
2011 Licence agreement with Opia Technologies for the development of EYEPRIM-VET®.
2010 The French newspaper "Les Echos" awards Iris Pharma a prize in recognization of its growth performance.
2008 Establishment of Ophta Biotech, a French organization which aims at gathering the French Riviera, Corsica and Monaco-based experts, doctors, industries, researchers, patients organizations and others who have a concern in ophthalmology to better promote the local expertise and know-how in this field around the world.
2008 Partnership with the "Institut de la Vision". Iris Pharma becomes one of the main partners of this international research center for eye diseases.
2008 Expansion of animal housing facilities in La Gaude (France).
2008 New Paris (France) premises at the "Institut de la Vision", one of Europe's major research center dedicated to eye diseases.
2007 Merger with Clirophtha, a unique Contract Research Organization in Europe and North America who were established in 1994 and were dedicated to clinical trials in ophthalmology. This merger establishes a world n°1 CRO for global drug development in ophthalmology.
2007 Strategic alliance with Promedica International, a USA-based Contract Research Organization.
2006 Launch of the Preclinical Formulation Department whose role is to develop and optimize ocular drug formulations for improved delivery.
2004 Launch of the Research Department to develop new animal models and offer customized animal models to clients.
1995 Iris Pharma becomes a GLP-certified laboratory.
1994 Iris Pharma tackles the American market and gains its first customers in the USA.
1994 Establishment of Clirophtha, a clinical research organization dedicates to ophthalmology clinical trials in Europe and North America and focusing on eye health care.
1991 Bioanalytical laboratory for preclinical and clinical studies.
1989 Founding of Iris Pharma in France. Iris Pharma successfully provides its preclinical services through France and Europe.