Francesco Bellini, PhD


Dr. Francesco Bellini serves as Chairman of BELLUS Health.

In 1998, Dr. Bellini founded Picchio International ― a family- and privately-owned company investing mainly in healthcare, where he serves as Chairman. In 2008, Dr. Bellini founded Klox Technologies ― a private regenerative medicine company developing therapeutic solutions for use in dermatology, wound care and animal health, where he continues to serve as Chairman. In 2015, Dr. Bellini co-founded FB Vision ― an Italian-based ophthalmology company developing state-of-the-art products for eye health, where he serves as Chairman. Until March 2009, Dr. Bellini was Chairman of ViroChem Pharma ― a privately held company with two investigational HCV polymerase inhibitors in clinical development, which was acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

From 1968 to 1984, Dr. Bellini had a fruitful career as a researcher at the Canadian subsidiary of a multinational pharmaceutical company. In 1984, he left to establish the biochemicals division of the Institut Armand-Frappier at the Université du Québec, from which, in 1986 he co-founded BioChem Pharma ― an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases and cancer. In 1996, BioChem discovered the antiviral drug Epivir (3TC), which to this day is the cornerstone for AIDS therapy. Dr. Bellini served as Chairman and CEO of BioChem until it was sold in 2001.

Born in 1947 in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, Dr. Bellini, arrived in Canada in 1967. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Concordia University in 1972, and a Doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of New Brunswick in 1977. Over the course of his career, Dr. Bellini has authored and co-authored over 100 patents and published numerous articles and papers based on his research.

In recognition of his contributions in the fields of entrepreneurship, research and development, Dr. Bellini received the title of Cavaliere del Lavoro in 2005, the most prestigious honor granted by the Italian government to a non-resident. For his contribution to Canada and Quebec, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 and an Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2004.

Dr. Bellini is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and the Italian Chamber of Commerce.