The site once formed part of the former Wimblehurst estate and was purchased by the Swiss pharmaceutical company CIBA in the mid-1930s. The main headquarters building, with its tall central tower facing Wimblehurst Road, was built in 1938.

Pharmaceutical production started at the site in 1939 and continued throughout the war. Several office buildings, laboratories and workshops were added over the years. CIBA later became Novartis, through a merger with Sandoz in 1996. Research operations ceased in the summer of 2014 and the site closed later that year.