LIBA was founded in 1945, receiving its name from its two founders, names: Lale and Necip Barlas. Lale Barlas was one of the first women pharmacists in Turkey, also teaching chemistry; Necip Barlas was a businessman, having studied economics.
They began their enterprise by making “cold tissues” in their apartment. LIBA diversified its spectrum of products, and moved to Provayans Han in Tahtakale in 1946, then to Karaköy Perşembe Pazarı in 1948. In 1966 it received its status as an Incorporated Company, becoming LIBA Laboratories Inc. The company then moved to Ortaköy Palanga Cad. in 1972, where it thrived for 22 years, and finally moved to its current building in Kavacık.
As told by Lale Barlas:
“Once we had decided against opening our own pharmacy, we began working with a manual tablet making machine in an apartment building in Taksim. At the time, inland production was a big issue, and thus we decided to produce medicine. So, we began to produce various formulae. Some of them worked, some did not…Mind you, we were inexperienced in the larger scale production as well…all of this took a lot of time. We met with Hüsnü Arsan, a veteran pharmacist who owned Karaköy Pharmacy, he was a lecturer as well as an enterpreneur. And eventually we moved out of our apartment-room into a laboratory in Provayans Han. We contiued our production there.”
“Later, we built a new laboratory in Karaköy, Perşembe Pazarı. It was a historic building left from the Genoans. That was our first official industrial facility. Although we had begun the formation of a facility at Taksim, our laboratory and production was completed in Karaköy.”
“Although we achieved extraordinary performance with preparations like Ludicodine [Codeine preparation in tablet and syrup form] and Kontrapon [analgesic], I think we were successful overall. Medicine production was a bit like cooking at the time; sometimes you got it right, and sometimes it just didn’t work…Later, we began working with specialists while continuing our production. One of our first products was a “cold tissue” that was manufactured in Europe and imported to Turkey: it was a cotton tissue that we prepared with menthol to be used during colds. We called it the “LIBA cold tissue.” Shortly thereafter, we began to manufacture our second generation products. My uncle, professor Osman Barlas would recommend compounds and molecules, and I would work on their galenic formulae.”