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BIAL appoints Joerg Holenz as R&D General Manager

Porto, November 8, 2021 - BIAL announced the appointment of Joerg Holenz as R&D General Manager, a role that he will assume alongside as a member of the Board of Directors.

Joerg Holenz replaces Patricio Soares da Silva who steps down after more than 25 years leading the company's R&D programs, including the delivery of an antiepileptic treatment and a medicine for Parkinson's Disease, which have been marketed on a global scale and essential for tens of thousands of patients throughout the world.

Joerg is a passionate R&D leader with over 20 years of experience in creating agile and successful R&D organizations. During his career, Joerg worked predominantly with peripheral and central targets in Pain/Neuroscience disease areas, where he delivered several clinical candidates and one marketed analgesic.

António Portela, CEO of BIAL said “Joerg Holenz has a proven track record of building and leading R&D organizations. We are confident he is the right person to help us to scale up our R&D projects and to strengthen the company, allowing us to continue developing innovative medicines and, above all, to contribute to our mission of improving the quality of life of people around the world”.

Joerg’s professional career started in 1998 at Grünenthal Pharmaceuticals in Germany. From 2003 to 2006, he served as Head of Medicinal Chemistry of Barcelona-based Laboratórios Esteve. In 2006, Joerg joined AstraZeneca’s CNS/Pain Research Unit in Sweden, as Neuroscience Project Leader. In 2012, Joerg moved to the US as Director for Discovery and Preclinical Sciences within AstraZeneca’s virtual Neuroscience Unit in Boston, and in 2016, he built up the Neuroscience Proof-of-Concept unit for GlaxoSmithKline in Upper Providence, Pennsylvania. In 2018, Joerg joined Grünenthal as SVP Neuroscience based in Cambridge, US, and worked on designing and executing the company’s new R&D organization as well as building the US Grünenthal Pain Innovation Hub.

Joerg Holenz holds a Bachelor of Chemistry from the University of Cologne and a Doctor of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry from the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg, Germany.

About BIAL

BIAL is an innovative international pharmaceutical company committed to improve human health and quality of life for people from all over the world.

Dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing medicines, BIAL is strongly dedicated to therapeutic innovation, consistently investing more than 20% of its annual revenue in Research and Development (R&D). The core R&D areas of BIAL are neurosciences and cardiovascular. Strengthening its international presence based in its own innovative medicines and in a consistent partnering program, BIAL is making a real difference to the lives of people all over the world inspired by its strong motivation: Keeping life in mind. Additional information can be found on the company’s website:

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Last Updated: 16-Nov-2021