Our History


A brief history of Wako Chemicals USA, Inc. is presented below.

1981 Wako established a wholly owned subsidiary, Wako Chemicals GmbH, in Germany in 1974 as its first overseas base of the international business. Expanding Wako's diverse international activities, Wako founded the second overseas subsidiary, Wako Chemicals USA, Inc., as the first US sales office in Dallas, Texas, in 1981. Wako's three lines of products, laboratory chemicals, specialty chemicals, and diagnostic reagents, imported from Japan were marketed in North and South America through Wako Chemicals USA.
1989 As the demand for one of our specialty chemicals, the V-50 polymerization initiator, increased, Wako decided to build a manufacturing plant in the USA in order to strategically supply the V-50 initiator to our customers internationally. Wako selected Richmond, Virginia, as the site for the first US production plant. While the plant construction was still underway, Wako Chemicals USA closed the Dallas office and relocated to Richmond in 1989.
1990 The production plant was built and started manufacturing V-50 in 1990. The V-50, 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride, is an azo initiator used in radical polymerization, one application of which is a production of polyacrylic acid, a superabsorbent polymer. Since then, Wako Chemicals USA has been supplying the V-50 initiator to superabsorbent polymer manufacturers not only in the USA, but also internationally, including Europe and Japan.
1996 Wako is a worldwide supplier of laboratory chemicals. Before 1996, Wako's manufacturing sites for laboratory chemicals were only in Japan. Taking advantage of its location in the USA, where many advanced science technologies are developed, Wako Chemicals USA expanded the plant operations to include laboratory chemicals, especially biochemical reagents.
1998 Electronic chemicals are one of product lines in Wako's specialty chemicals. Wako's ultra pure hydrogen peroxide, HIRINPER, is a cleaning solution used for the removal of contaminants and impurities from the surface of silicon wafers. As the semiconductor industry grew in the USA, Wako's stable supply of the cleaning solution was required as it was proved to effectively clean the semiconductor surface. The new plant for the production of HIRINPER was built in 1998.
2002 Wako opens the new Horseshoe Crab Bleeding Facility for the LAL Division in Cape Charles, VA.
2002 Construction completed for a new Specialty Chemicals' photographic intermediates production facility, the expansion of the warehouse, and the new lab building.
2005 The parent company, Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd. Opens the Mountain View R&D Center (MVRDC) in Mountain View, CA to develop new items for the Diagnostics Division.
2006 The Diagnostics Division opens an office in Mountain View, CA located in the same facility as Wako Japan’s MVRDC.
2006 The Haemachem Division is renamed the LAL Division. Construction of the new laboratory was completed and some operations were relocated from St. Louis, MO to Richmond, VA.
2008 The LAL Division moved all operations from St. Louis, MO to Richmond, VA. FDA approval was received for the LAL production facility.
2010 Wako Chemicals USA entered into an asset purchase agreement with Kalypsys, Inc., whereby the group was renamed the HTS Division.
2010 The LAL Division obtains FDA approval for the production of LAL on new automated filling/stoppering and capping/labeling machines, a change from a one-step to a two-step lysing process, and batch volume increase from 10 liters to 14 liters at the Richmond, VA facility.
2012 The HTS Division was split from Wako USA and incorporated as Wako Automation USA, Inc., a California corporation.
2012 The LAL Division receives FDA approval for the production of PYROSTAR™ ES-F for specific determination of gram negative bacterial endotoxin.
2012 Wako USA purchase the building in Cape Charles, VA housing the LAL Division’s Horsehoe Crab Bleeding Facility.
2012 As part of a corporate reorganization, Wako Holdings USA, Inc. was formed. Three corporations were created under the holding company: Wako Chemicals USA, Inc. (Specialty Chemicals, Laboratory Chemicals and LAL Divisions), Wako Life Sciences, Inc. (formerly Wako USA’s Diagnostics Division) and Wako Automation USA, Inc.

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