“Well, what do you say?” “Yes, great, president, I really think we’re on the right track.” “Keep going, then! Keep going!” In this dialogue between Fulvio Bracco, son of the founder, Elio, and Professor Ernst Felder, chemist and head of research at Bracco, there is all the passion for innovation and the discovery that made the Italian Group a world leader in the field of contrast agents for medical diagnostics.
In the history of the development of contrast agents, a huge contribution came from the fruitful bond between these two key figures of entrepreneur and scientist, who together wrote an important chapter of this discipline, so essential to prevention and to people’s health. “I have always greatly admired Felder, for his chemical genius,” wrote Fulvio Bracco in his memoirs, “and I have a deep fondness for him, which has grown over the years of dedication to the work, which united us. He was an exceptional collaborator and a loyal friend. I have always had brilliant people in the company – I don’t know if I am lucky or skilled in choosing personnel. I have always cared for all those who worked closely with me.”
We are in the 1960s, and the new research laboratories are run by Ernst Felder. Following years and years of research, monthly meetings, and company policy decisions, in the early ’70s Bracco scientists create the first contrast agent, which their leader, Fulvio, has been chasing for some time: Iopamidol (B15000). Its success is immediate, and production must be rapidly increased. A decision is made: everyone will work round the clock for three months, in eight-hour shifts including Sundays. The invention of Professor Felder and Fulvio Bracco is a true breakthrough and becomes the international gold standard. It is an impressive Made in Italy achievement, in a technologically cutting-edge sector such as the Life Sciences – a real source of pride for a family-run business from our country. From that moment on, research and growth at the Group have never stopped: “Keep going, then! Keep going!”