Suresh R. Babu
Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls
Dr. Suresh Babu joined BELLUS Health in January 2022 as Vice President, Head of CMC.
Dr. Babu has over 30 years of experience in small biotech to large multinational pharmaceutical companies with technical capabilities in preformulation, bio-enhancement technologies, first in human-dosage development, registration/validation campaigns, and life-cycle product development in oral and parenteral dosage forms. Extensive experience with out-sourcing development and manufacturing of small molecules from preclinical to late-stage to launch readiness.
At BELLUS Health, Dr. Babu leads the Process Chemistry, Formulations, Analytical and Clinical Supply Chain groups. He served as the Vice President of CMC at Forma Therapeutics, Synta Pharmaceuticals and at various leadership/scientific titles at Pfizer Global R&D, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis and Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Science organizations.
Dr. Babu is an Emeritus member of the Advisory Board for the School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut, CT.
Chief Financial Officer
Ramzi Benamar joined BELLUS Health in December 2020 as Chief Financial Officer.
Mr. Benamar has over 20 years of financial, strategic planning and business operations experience in the biopharmaceutical sector.
Prior to Bellus Health, he served as Chief Financial Officer of DBV Technologies where he was instrumental in managing the balance sheet and leading the capital deployment strategy. Prior to joining DBV Technologies, Mr. Benamar was the VP of finance and Head of financial planning and analysis at Spark Therapeutics until the acquisition of the company by Roche Holding. Mr. Benamar provided financial leadership across the entire company, strengthen the finance organization and was a key contributor to the transition to a commercial stage organization. Mr. Benamar also held key finance and business operations roles of increasing responsibilities at Shire (acquired by Takeda) Johnson and Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Merck.
Mr. Benamar holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University, as well as a Master from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia.
Chief Executive Officer
Roberto Bellini has served as President and CEO of BELLUS Health since January 1, 2010.
Mr. Bellini previously oversaw the licensing and partnering activities of BELLUS Health Inc. His experience includes several roles and responsibilities at Picchio Pharma Inc., a joint venture healthcare investment firm owned by the Bellini Family Trust and Power Corporation of Canada, and its investee companies.
Mr. Bellini holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McGill University.
Lori Birkenberger, PhD
Head of Regulatory Affairs
Lori Birkenberger joined BELLUS Health in November 2021. Ms. Birkenberger completed a BA In Biology from College of Wooster (OH) and PhD in Anatomy, Cell Biology & Neurobiology from the University of Cincinnati (OH), followed by post-doctoral training in Molecular Biology at the NIH’s Heart, Lung & Blood Division in Maryland.
Ms. Birkenberger joined the pharmaceutical industry via Marion Merrell Dow, a predecessor of Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, as a bench scientist doing molecular biology research to identify new therapeutic targets in respiratory and Rheumatoid Arthritis. After 10 years at the bench, she transitioned to Project Management, overseeing a large drug Research & Development alliance with Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Then became the US R&D site Scientific Coordinator, managing the R&D portfolio. Her last position at Sanofi was as a Global Regulatory liaison in Regulatory Affairs. Next, she joined Johnson & Johnson, as a Global Regulatory Liaison for 14+ years supporting several different therapeutic areas (Metabolism, Cardiovascular, Neuroscience, Men’s Urology, Antibiotics and Inflammatory diseases).
Cathy Bonuccelli, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Catherine Bonuccelli has served as Chief Medical Officer of BELLUS Health since August 26, 2019.
Dr. Bonuccelli is a pediatric pulmonologist with over 20 years of pharmaceutical experience with significant expertise in clinical and product development of respiratory and non-respiratory products.
Dr. Bonuccelli held a number of leadership positions focusing on the late-stage clinical development of large and small molecule programs in the respiratory and inflammation therapeutic areas. During her more than 20-year tenure with AstraZeneca, she played a number of roles, including Global Medicines Clinical Vice President for the Inflammation, Neuroscience, & Respiratory Therapeutic Area, and Therapy Area Clinical Vice President, Respiratory and Inflammation. Dr. Bonuccelli subsequently spent more than four years serving as US Medical Affairs Respiratory Therapeutic Area Head for GlaxoSmithKline.
Dr. Bonuccelli earned her MD, and was an Intern, Resident, Research Fellow, and Clinical Fellow, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a member of several prominent boards.
Head of Development
Nathalie Chauret joined BELLUS Health in 2017 and is currently Executive Director, Head of Drug Development. She oversees all toxicity and clinical pharmacology activities.
Ms. Chauret has over 25- years of experience in drug discovery and drug development in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining BELLUS Health, N. Chauret led DMPK and Phase 1 clinical activities with increasing responsibilities at Merck Frosst, Virochem Pharma and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Throughout her career, she has been involved in the discovery and development of several marketed drugs in different therapeutic areas (asthma, pain and osteoporosis).
Ms. Chauret holds a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Université of Montreal and has published over 50 research papers, abstracts and patents.
Head of Quality and Compliance
Reena Colacot joined Bellus Health in December 2021 and heads the Quality and Compliance functions. She has about 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, majority of which was in leadership roles. She has worked in a wide range of organizations including large multinational pharmaceutical companies, private venture funded biotechnology companies and not for profit organizations. She also has worked across different dosage forms, devices and combination products. She has provided leadership for GxP activities at multiple sites. She also has experience, designing and implementing Quality Systems across the GxPs for both drugs and combination products and providing quality oversight for the implementation of e-QMS platforms. She has a proven track record of keeping her organization always inspection ready and ensuring successful outcomes for regulatory inspections and the commercial launch of products across different therapeutic areas.
Reena is a Biomedical Engineer by education and training. For her graduate research, she worked under the guidance of Prof. Jack Lemons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also has a Master’s degree in Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs from Temple University’s School of Pharmacy. She holds membership in various Professional Organizations and is actively involved in some of the local chapters.
Tony Di Paolo
Head of Strategic Program Management
Tony DiPaolo joined BELLUS Health in April 2021 to establish the project management office. He oversees the function with a goal to facilitate the efficient and successful completion of projects, and to enhance information sharing and communication.
Mr. DiPaolo has over 20 years’ experience in drug development, having managed or lead the development of assets from discovery through launch.
Mr. DiPaolo is a Project management professional and holds a bachelor’s degrees in business administration and Biology from Université de Montréal, as well as a Master’s degree in Evolutionary biology from Iowa State University of Science and Technology.
Denis Garceau, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Denis Garceau serves as Chief Scientific officer and has been with the Company since 1997. Dr Garceau directs BELLUS Health’s early drug development programs, from preclinical to clinical proof-of-concept of new products.
From 1986 to 1997, as a clinical scientist and product team leader for Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Sanofi), Dr. Garceau successfully oversaw North American clinical programs and participated in global clinical development steering committees. He was responsible for developing clinical operating plans, designing clinical protocols, and supervising clinical trials. In 1985-86, Dr. Garceau completed a post-doctorate Research fellowship in Pharmacology at Merck Canada. He is a board member of Centre d’excellence en recherche sur les maladies orphelines-Fondation Courtois (CERMO-FC) at UQAM.
Dr. Garceau holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the Université de Montréal and is currently a guest lecturer for the faculty of pharmacy of the Université de Montréal and Université Laval.
Senior Vice President,
Tony Matzouranis joined BELLUS Health in 2010 and currently oversees the Company’s licensing and business development activities.
Mr. Matzouranis has over 20 years of experience in structuring and building successful partnerships via in / out-licensing, mergers and acquisitions and alliance management. Prior to joining BELLUS Health, Mr. Matzouranis was Director of Licensing at Thallion Pharmaceuticals. From 1999 to 2007, he held Business Development positions of increasing responsibility at Caprion Pharmaceuticals (now CellCarta).
Mr. Matzouranis holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Andreas Orfanos, MBBCh, FFPM
Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Andreas Orfanos serves as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer since April 2022.
Dr. Orfanos received his FFPM from the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom and his MBBCh and MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Dr. Orfanos has over 30 years of extensive international experience in strategy development, executive and operational management roles in major healthcare sectors, with a particular focus on global pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Prior to joining Bellus, Dr. Orfanos was the Director of the MHICC, and the CEO of Innovacor. Dr. Orfanos was formerly Vice President at Thrasos Therapeutics, Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning and Scientific Affairs at Neurochem. He also served at Picchio Pharma, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Sandoz and Lifecare. He also established ORFANOS Global Healthcare Consulting Inc., which focused on creating value for organizations through strategy development and the advancement of medical products and technologies. He has held various lead roles in strategy development, business development, leadership of specialty business units, and in drug development and clinical management. He has been instrumental in several leading studies in the fields of transplantation/immunology, oncology, renal, infectious, and cardiovascular diseases.
Joan Shaw joined BELLUS Health in March 2020 as Vice President of Clinical Operations.
Ms. Shaw is a licensed Medical Technologist with over 25 years of experience in large pharmaceutical companies. After leaving large pharma, she held leadership positions in Biotech, CROs and CDMO organizations. Joan has expertise in Project Management, Clinical Operations, Data Management and Clinical Outsourcing, and has worked in all phases of drug development. She has developed large and small molecules in the CNS, Inflammation, Cardiovascular, GI, Vaccine and Biologic therapeutic areas.
Ms. Shaw holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology from the University of Delaware She also holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Chemistry and Administration from West Chester University.
Chuck Stanley joined BELLUS Health in June 2022 as Director of Information Technology.
Mr. Stanley is responsible for managing all aspects of the company electronic systems, data, and support.
Mr. Stanley brings 20 years of IT technology operations and regulatory experience in the life sciences industry to BELLUS including multiple facets of management, computer systems validation, and support in pharmaceutical and CDMO’s. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Stanley was the Head of IT at Quotient Sciences, Senior IT Analyst at Covex (now Verista), and Senior Systems Analyst at Elan Pharmaceuticals.
Head of Human Resources
Catherine Tittley joined BELLUS Health in May 2022 as Senior Director, Head of Human Resources.
Ms. Tittley has over 20 years of experience in human resources and organizational development and works in the life sciences industry since 2009. Prior to joining BELLUS, she contributed to the development of a biopharmaceutical company from its pre-NDA phase to the approval of its first therapeutic.
Ms. Tittley is a member of the Ordre des CRHA et CRIA du Québec. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Career Development from Université du Québec à Montreal and a Specialized Graduate Diploma in Management from HEC Montreal. She also completed some studies in management coaching and in organizational development.
Tiger Yang, PhD
Head of Biostatistics
Tiger Yang joined BELLUS Health in October 2021 as Executive Director, Head of Biostatistics.
Mr. Yang has over 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, having been a statistical lead in several successful NDA/BLA submissions as well as successful submissions to other regulatory agencies (EMA, PMDA, etc.).
Mr. Yang received his PhD degree in statistics from University of Virginia in 1997.
Heidi Zod joined BELLUS Health in November 2020 and leads the global commercial organization in strategic planning, market readiness and launch commercialization.
Ms. Zod brings over 25 years of Pharmaceutical Marketing experience, both globally and in US markets across multiple therapeutic areas. She is a passionate, innovative strategic leader with expertise in bringing novel, first-in-disease assets through product development, planning, strategy, commercialization and market access.
Prior to joining Bellus, Ms. Zod was the Global Marketing Lead at Novo Nordisk where she was responsible for driving commercial strategic planning of the lead GLP-1 asset into NASH, as well as heading commercial U.S. pipeline development in diabetes and obesity. Prior to that Heidi rose through a variety of Marketing roles at Merck, leading programs to launch first-in-class molecules in hepatitis C and oncology and working directly with National Payers to contract and retain access across the full Merck portfolio of agents.
Ms. Zod holds a Masters of Business Administration from Rutgers University and a BA in Food Chemistry Science from Pennsylvania State University.