History and Milestones

Founded in 1966 by a Danish medical doctor, Niels Harboe, Dako is headquartered in Denmark with manufacturing and research sites in Glostrup, Denmark and Carpinteria, California, USA.

Dako has earned its reputation for innovation and quality by introducing the first conjugated antibodies for immunohistochemistry more than 45 years ago. In the 1960s several companies were producing antisera, but the strength varied greatly, presenting significant challenges for hospitals, which had difficulties using the antisera for the evaluation of patient samples.

Niels Harboe realized the importance of obtaining a supply of antibodies for analytical purposes that was of the same strength at all times, therefore he founded his own company, DAKOPATTS.

A discovery in early 1967 made it possible to standardize the strength of antibodies in a usable product. Soon antibodies became a useful tool for hospitals, to the benefit of patients all over the world.

Since then Dako has continously been a driver in developing the field of cancer diagnostics introducing pharmDx, Special Stains, Image Analysis and Pathology Workflow.


Dako launces Dako Omnis
Dako Omnis is an advanced staining solution designed to meet the needs of the high volume pathology lab that runs both IHC and ISH slides.

Britt Meelby Jensen is appointed General Manager for Dako
As Dako General Manager, Britt Meelby Jensen, is responsible for Dako R&D and Dako Global Commercial Business.

Dako is aquired by Agilent Technologies
The total consideration for the transaction is DKK 12.8 billion.

Dako launches
HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit
The HER2 CISH pharmDx™ Kit makes companion diagnostics available to all types of pathology laboratories by providing this new breast cancer test for bright field microscopy.

Dako receives FDA approval for HercepTest™ and HER2 FISH pharmDx™ for stomach cancer
This FDA approval clears the way for launch of the product in USA. Dako is the first company to receive FDA approval for a HER2 test for stomach cancer.

Dako launches the Coverstainer
The Coverstainer is Dako’s H&E Stainer. With this launch Dako ventures into the area of primary staining.

Dako opens Sales Office in Shanghai, China

Dako opens Sales Office in São Paulo, Brazil

Beckman Coulter buys Dako’s Flow Business Unit

Dako’s Flow Business Unit in Colorado, USA has been sold to Beckman Coulter. Thereby Dako’s focus on anatomic pathology, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and reagents for flow cytometry is strengthened.


Dako is acquired by private equity fond EQT
Private equity fund EQT V (“EQT”) signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of Dako. The total consideration for the transaction is DKK 7.25 billion.

Dako launches Dako Link - Integrated Workflow Solutions
Never before has Dako launched so many important products at one time. The Dako Link solution offers software, instruments, reagents and connectivity options customized to meet the needs of any pathology laboratory. Dako Link substantially improves cost efficiency and turnaround time in the lab by linking together the entire workflow.

Dako launches ACIS® III

Dako launches the newest addition to our growing portfolio of automated platforms, ACIS® III. With a new sophistication, ACIS® IIII is enhancing the lab’s workflow to include advanced image analysis benefits in a simple manner. Pathologists now have the capability to improve their workflow, turnaround time, and experience cost savings.

Dako's Microbiology business sold
The sale of the microbiology activities to Oxoid is part of Dako’s strengthened focus on anatomic pathology. Dako’s microbiology range will gradually be rebranded as Oxoid and products should be ordered via Oxoid.

Change of name

The company changes its name from DakoCytomation A/S to Dako A/S.

Microbiology up for sale
DakoCytomation sharpens its focus on cancer diagnostics by putting its Microbiology activities up for sale.

Agreement on image analysis
DakoCytomation enters an agreement with Clarient Inc. on the further development and sale of its ACIS instruments, which are used for image analysis. The agreement is part of Dako’s strategy to automate more areas of the workflow in the pathology laboratory and to offer more integrated systems to the market for cancer diagnostics.

Acquires instrument business
DakoCytomation acquires the Artisan™ instrument business from CytoLogix Inc. Artisan™ is a state-of-the-art tissue staining instrument.

Merges with bioinstrumentation company Cytomation and becomes DakoCytomation
DAKO, the world-leading producer of cancer diagnostic reagents, merges with the Fort Collins-based bioinstrumentation company Cytomation Inc. The purpose of the merger is for the two companies to utilize their common competencies to further strengthen their position in the fast-growing market segments of the in vitro diagnostics industry. Cytomation was originally founded in 1988 in Colorado by one American and three Australian scientists who were convinced that the industry-standard flow cytometer could do a better job.

Sells Boston Probes

DAKO sells Boston Probes Inc. to Applied Biosystems Inc.

Launch of HercepTest™
The joint approval of Herceptin™ (Genentech) and HercepTest™ (Dako's pharmDx test) was the first example in history of a pharmaceutical product directly linked to a specific test.  

Launch of Dako's first Autostainer
AutostainerLink 48 is Dako's latest addition to the DakoLink solution for immunohistochemistry.

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk A/S invests in DAKO

Acquires Novo Nordisk Diagnostics
DAKO acquires Novo Nordisk Diagnostics (activities in microbiology) in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

DAKOPATTS changes name to DAKO

Establishes subsidiaries
In the 1980s DAKOPATTS establishes more sales subsidiaries around the world.  

Enters the United States of America
DAKOPATTS Corporation is founded in the USA.

Founded in Denmark
Niels Harboe founded DAKOPATTS.

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Get in Touch with Dako in United States of America

  • Pathology Products, Flow Cytometry Products and Specific Proteins
    Dako North America, Inc.

    +1 805 566 6655
    +1 805 566 6688

    6392 Via Real
    Carpinteria, CA 93013

  • Flow Cytometry Products
    Fisher Health Care

    +1 800 766 7000
    +1 800 926 1166

    9999 Veterans Memorial Drive
    Houston, TX 77038

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