The Mérieux family

Marcel Mérieux was born in 1870 into a family of silk producers in Lyon. But his destiny changed when he met Louis Pasteur and Émile Roux, Pasteur’s right-hand man, leading him to establish Institut Mérieux in 1897.

An entrepreneurial and family adventure

Alongside Louis Pasteur and Émile Roux, Marcel Mérieux learned about microbiology and the serum therapy technique. In 1897, after working at Institut Pasteur, Marcel Mérieux created the Institut Biologique Mérieux in Lyon, which later became Institut Mérieux. He created bridges between human and veterinary medicine and between hospitals and industry to serve public health.

Institut Mérieux further expanded in 1917 when Marcel Mérieux moved his horses and cattle, used to produce therapeutic serums for humans and animals, to Marcy-l’Étoile, a village west of Lyon.
This scientific and entrepreneurial adventure has continued for four generations with his son Dr. Charles Mérieux, then his grandson Alain Mérieux, and finally his great-grandson Alexandre. They fought the epidemics of their time by shifting from small-scale biology to industrial production, developing innovative tools to combat infectious diseases that they distributed to all four corners of the earth.

Driven by a commitment to their public health mission, they have maintained a profoundly humanist vision and created several family foundations to fight against infectious diseases in low-resource countries.

More than 150 years after Marcel Mérieux’s birth, Institut Mérieux remains an independent family firm. It focused on vaccines until 1994, then shifted to other bio-industrial activities such as diagnostics and immunotherapy.

Jean et Alain Mérieux avec leur père Charles
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