About us

From an agricultural enterprise with production of conventional pigs to a leading international supplier of microbiologically defined minipigs for biomedical research.



Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs A/S was founded in 1993 by Mr. Lars Ellegaard, to supply scientists in biomedical research with a better non-rodent animal model, than what was already available. Such an animal model should have many similarities to humans, a high-quality health standard, well-defined genetics, and be small and easy to handle.

In 1969, the George-August University in Göttingen, Germany had finalized the development of such an animal model and named it Göttingen Minipigs. 


Did you know...

The development of Göttingen Minipigs were finalised in 1969 from the George-August University in Göttingen, Germany?

Learn more about their
genetic foundation.

First delivery of Göttingen Minipigs

How it all began

Minipig awareness

In 1971 the SPF-system was established in Denmark, and Lars Ellegaard, a breeder of conventional pigs, decides to rederivate his herd to SPF status. After a while, he receives an enquiry for SPF pigs from Novo Nordisk for insulin research. However, it turns out that the pigs grow too fast and are difficult to handle, so they request a minipig instead. Lars Ellegaard learns about the new minipig species developed in Göttingen, which is the smallest known minipig breed in Europe. He enters into an agreement with the University and starts importing Göttingen Minipigs for production and sales to the Scandinavian markets.

Collaboration with the University in Göttingen

With his growing understanding of the industry's demands, Lars Ellegaard creates a new business model, which raises the bar significantly regarding expectations to health status and breeding. He enters new negotiations with the university with the aim of separating commercial production from genetic management. In 1991-92 Lars Ellegaard obtains exclusive rights for global production, sale, and distribution of Göttingen Minipigs, while the university in Göttingen is in charge of genetic management. Hence, in 1993 the company Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs is established.

Establishment of health status

To ensure a high health status, a breeding barrier is constructed and is ready to receive its new inhabitants in 1993. The barrier has a comprehensive list of installations ensuring a clean, bio-secure environment for the minipigs such as filtered air intake, irradiation of incoming water, slight positive pressure in case of leakage, and a procedure for the staff involving showering and complete change of clothes.

36 pregnant sows are imported from the University in Göttingen to create the foundation of the new breeding strategy. The sows undergo caesarean sections under sterile conditions, and the around 230 new-born piglets create the basis for the herd still in breeding today.

Establishment of health status

Did you know...

To emphasise the importance and quality of Göttingen Minipigs' health status, animal welfare, working environment and standardised production, Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs applies for the AAALAC accreditation in 1998.

The accreditation is received that same year and has been maintained ever since.

Late 1990s: USA

Activities in the American market commence, and in 2002 a licensed breeding agreement is entered with Marshall Farms (later Marshall BioResources). A herd of Göttingen Minipigs are transported to the US to create the foundation of the new local Göttingen Minipigs breeding herd. 

2010: Japan

A licensed breeding agreement is likewise signed with Oriental Yeast Company in Japan and a breeding facility is established here as well.

2014: South Korea

An agreement of distribution is signed with WOOJUNGBIO in South Korea.

International sales activities

During the 2010s the international presence is expanded further through sales activities in India, Israel and China.

LE handover til JE

Generational handover

In 2004, Jens Ellegaard, the son of Lars Ellegaard, takes over management of the company - a succession, which has been planned carefully and in consideration of the company's continued growth and development. Lars Ellegaard steps back but remains in the company with responsibility for sales. 8 years later, in 2012, Lars Ellegaard retires and withdraws from the company completely.

Jens remains CEO of the company until 2014, when he decides to hire a CEO to take care of daily business, while he focuses on the overall strategic work as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Scientific partnerships

The first scientific employee is hired in the late 1990s indicating an intention to engage and collaborate with scientists, not just supply.

Taking the scientific engagements even further, the construction of a research facility is complete in 2016 offering a state-of-the-art surgical suite and housing facility for Göttingen Minipigs involved in research projects. With the research barrier, Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs is no longer only a breeder, but has now become a scientific partner offering advanced services to facilitate research and collaborative efforts to support client studies.


Research services include

  • Development and characterisation of disease models
  • Contract breeding of genetically altered minipigs
  • Exploratory pharmacology studies
  • Pre-implanted and neutered minipigs
  • Diet and surgical induction
  • Long-term housing of customer owned minipigs
  • General open access to the surgical suite and scientific procedures

Go to the complete overview of Research Services available today.

In the early 2020s the activity level in the research barrier is increasing and now also includes development of brand new transgenic Göttingen Minipigs models.

Research Foundation

In 2016 the Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs Research Foundation is established as a way to engage actively in research projects granting financial funding for scientific research based around Göttingen Minipigs.


The subsidiary Ellegaard Bioresearch

Focus on the American market and the potential to further develop the company's presence is increased. Therefore, in 2022, the subsidiary Ellegaard Bioresearch Inc. is established, with the purpose of strengthening the knowledge of Göttingen Minipigs, the new transgenic models, and the scientific services available.

Learn more about Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs in Today's company.

Contact us

Are you curious to know more about the scientific services we provide? Contact us for more information about how we can support your study.