Recherche et Industrie Thérapeutiques (R.I.T.) was founded in Genval, Belgium, as a penicillin factory in 1945 by Dr Pieter De Somer, who later became the founder of the Rega Institute for Medical Research and rector of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium). The industrialist Jean Lannoye provided the funding for the company. The company started its vaccine research and production in the 1950s. The present CEO of the company is Jean Stéphenne.
In 1968 the company was acquired by Smith, Kline & French and the name was changed in SmithKline-RIT. In 1989 it became SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, and since 2000 GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.
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