Our History

Over the last 65-plus years, Elanco has evolved, adapted and grown. But the commitment to innovation has never wavered.

Our History

A Legacy of Innovation

For more than 65 years, we've focused on delivering innovative animal health solutions that solve our customers’ greatest challenges.

Since 1954, Elanco has committed to empowering veterinarians, farmers, and all those concerned with animal health with the tools they need to help animals live healthy lives.

Elanco only exists today because of the agility and decisiveness of two executives, who, upon hatching a new idea on a plane, immediately rerouted their business trip to act on the opportunity.

A Legacy of Innovation

In 1953, Lilly launched the first antibiotic for exclusive veterinary use. Shortly after, in 1954, the company formally organized its plant and animal science activities into the Agricultural and Industrial Sales Division, led by George Varnes. The Elanco brand, short for Eli Lilly and Company, came to be in 1960, following the reorganization of Eli Lilly and Company's Agricultural and Industrial Sales Division.

Global Expansion and Innovation

Being the new company in the industry brought challenges, including some who questioned whether we had any business in animal agriculture. Perseverance, tenacity, and a commitment to innovation led Elanco to succeed, delivering value and solutions for our customers.

With a solid foundation in place, the 1960s through 1980s marked decades of expansion and innovation. Elanco developed regional offices in the U.S., entered global markets, and grew our product portfolio to focus on both farm animal and pet health. Fast forward to today, with operations in 90 counties around the world and 17 dedicated research and development and manufacturing sites delivering on Elanco’s mission.

You Might Be Interested in...

Get to know Elanco and our perspective on animal health by exploring more articles below.

Our Story

Explore our six decades of innovating and nurturing relationships to become a global animal health leader.

Research & Development

Elanco's research and development process applies expertise to create solutions to the most significant animal health challenges.

Our Vision

Learn more about our vision of Food and Companionship Enriching Life that we share with our customers.


Connect with Elanco


Elanco and the diagonal bar logo are trademarks of Elanco or its affiliates. © 2020 Elanco.
EM-GLB-CA-20-0045