As an owner-managed company AOP Orphan is devoted to long-term commitment, high quality, and continuity. For a small number of very special diseases the company is the sole supplier of some key therapeutic agents throughout the world.


AOP Orphan was founded in 1996 by Dr. Rudolf Widmann with the aim of developing and providing therapy options for patients with rare diseases, and then introducing the therapy options first in Austria, the European core countries of AOP Orphan, and finally in the international market.

Dr. Rudolf Widmann Chief Therapeutics Development Officer | Board Member | Founder

“I worked for several years in large international pharmaceutical companies and observed that there were some therapy options for rare diseases, but they did not reach the large majority of the patients.”

Why did you found AOP Orphan?
“When founding AOP Orphan in 1996 my aim was to make targeted treatment available to the maximum number of patients with rare diseases. I realized that these patients are frequently left alone in their suffering. As an entrepreneur the complex environment of rare diseases was a great challenge, but also an opportunity to be successful in this niche.”

What role did AOP Orphan’s sense of entrepreneurial responsibility play in the founding of the company?
“Entrepreneurial responsibility is no additionally imposed obligation for AOP Orphan, but the attitude that played an indispensable role at the very time the company was founded. AOP Orphan’s objective to provide effective help for persons with rare diseases originated from this sense of responsibility and has made the company what it is today.“

Facts & Figures

As a European pioneer in the treatment of rare diseases, AOP Orphan is active in all five continents with its several years of expertise. Since the very start the company has been focused on the individual needs and treatments of patients with rare diseases. Based on its research-centred approach, those at AOP Orphan have a profound understanding of special diseases. Therefore, the company has been able to position itself as an innovative front-runner in the development of effective therapies and drugs.

Headquarters in Vienna
From its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, AOP Orphan tends to the needs of the European and Middle East markets in 13 countries. Furthermore, the company is active internationally through its strategic partnerships.
More than 220 TEAM members
AOP Orphan is an international team of more than 220 dedicated and agile specialists in 13 countries.
114 Mio.
in 2019
Turnover of 114 million Euros
AOP Orphan financial stability and success is important to make further impact in the field of rare diseases. A significant part of the turnover is re-invested in research and development projects.
70% export
With an export quota of about 70%, today AOP Orphan is active internationally and is one of the leading companies in this sector within the country.
export quote
areas of treatment
3 Areas of Treatment
As a specialist for rare diseases AOP Orphan investigates, produces and markets innovative solutions in the treatment areas of  HaematoOncology, Cardiology & Pulmonology, Neurology & Metabolic Disorders.

Vision & Mission


History of more than 20 years means many significant milestones — in research,  social, business spheres and regulatory affairs — that were and are important for AOP Orphan.


Foundation of AOP Orphan in Vienna


The Orphan Regulation EC no 141/2000


1st Approval of Anagrelide in Europe


European Union Expansion


Prostacyclin Analogues Approval


JAK2 Discovery


Renaissance of Interferon (IFNα)


UDCA Designation


Tetrabenazine Approval in Central Europe


Nabilone Approval in Austria


Start of the PROUD PV Study


Beta-blocker for severe sepsis


Pitolisant approval


Landiolol approval


Treprostinil and PAH


BESREMi® Approval

Corporate culture

Thanks to many years of experience in the provision of complex and individualized treatments, AOP Orphan gained special expertise and market presence in the field of rare diseases.

Since its very start AOP Orphan has borne the social responsibility of further life quality improvement for patients with severe, rare and life-threatening diseases. We at AOP Orphan conduct intensive research for this purpose, believing that developing and providing solutions for patients is the most important part of the AOP Orphan corporate responsibility. When it comes to wanting the best for the patients, we stand side-by-side with each other as a team, with researches, physicians, therapists, caregivers, patient organizations and other stakeholders. 

AOP Orphan is keen to keep one of its greatest assets – it is closely networked with the key specialists in all markets and is therefore able to help patients with rare diseases from Austria throughout the world.

Mag. Andreas Steiner CEO | Chairman of the Board

From its inception AOP Orphan's culture is shaped by the entrepreneurial spirit of its founder. We are proud to be a company that encourages employees to come up with new ideas and to show ownership and initiative every day. To help neglected patients with rare diseases is our key motivator. Through close interaction with the scientific community, care givers and partners we aim to provide therapies and help patients beyond just providing drugs.

The future

Thanks to our advancements in the field of therapies, an increasing number of patients survive their disease or are able to live with it for a longer period of time. In the next few decades, personalized medicine, individual treatment opportunities will emerge more and more as the standard in AOP Orphan’s therapy concepts as well.

Novel technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) will play an equally crucial role as the increasing quantities of big data and conclusions derived from the daily lives of patients also beyond the strictly regulated conditions of clinical trials, e.g. real-world evidence.

Furthermore, the increasing health competence, health literacy of patients and their family members will also determine the future of pharma and health care sector.