Fidelta is one of the companies within the Galapagos group, with a long history in pharmaceutical research, dating back to 1952.

Fidelta originates from the Research institute of PLIVA, where the blockbuster antibiotic azithromycin, later licensed to Pfizer, was discovered. The research focus of the PLIVA Research institute was on therapeutic areas of infection and inflammation, and the group was well recognized within the scientific community for its leading role in macrolide chemistry.

The group’s expertise in macrolide research was one of the key drivers behind the acquisition of the PLIVA Research institute by GlaxoSmithKline in 2006. Within GSK, the Zagreb R&D site was set up as the Centre of Excellence in Macrolide Drug Discovery, and was later reorganized into the Macrolide DPU (discovery performance unit) and the Integrated Research Unit (IRU). While the Macrolide DPU pursued an internal portfolio of macrolide projects, the IRU offered integrated drug discovery services to other GSK DPUs, working across various therapeutic areas.

In 2010, as part of GSK’s decision to reduce their footprint, the Croatia based GSK R&D site was taken over by the Galapagos group. Within Galapagos, the company initially operated as an internal R&D service unit, providing support to a number of discovery and development projects, in addition to being fully responsible for the progression of an internal drug discovery project portfolio. The company has later become oriented towards external clients, offering drug discovery services to the pharmaceutical and related industries. To mark this change in the operating model, the company name was changed to Fidelta.