Dr. Francesco Bellini , Chair

Dr. Francesco Bellini is Chairman of BELLUS Health. In addition, he is also Chairman of Klox Technologies, Picchio International, Prognomix and until March 2009, ViroChem Pharma – all life science companies.

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. He served as Chairman and CEO of Biochem Pharma, an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused in infectious diseases and cancer, until it was sold in 2001.

Born in 1947 in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, Francesco Bellini, CM, came to 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 authored or co-authored more than 30 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 has 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.

Roberto Bellini

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 responsibility for the investment and operational activities of Picchio Pharma Inc., a joint venture healthcare investment firm owned by FMRC Family Trust and Power Technology Investment Corporation.

Mr. Bellini has broad ties in the community and has served on numerous fundraising committees for the following institutions: l’Institut du cancer de Montréal, the Sarah Cook Fund for the Cedars Cancer Institute, l’Institut de Gériatrie, le Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and la Fondation Quebec Jeunes.

Mr. Bellini holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McGill University.

Dr. Youssef L. Bennani

Dr. Youssef L. Bennani joined the Board of BELLUS Health in May 2017.

Dr. Bennani is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Domain Therapeutics in France and Canada; and Site Head and Vice-President, Research and Development at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Canada) Inc. He held various positions of increasing responsibility in pharmaceutical R&D for nearly 25 years, in the USA and Canada (namely working for Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories (now Abbvie), Athersys and Vertex Pharmaceuticals). Over this span, he worked in the fields of oncology, neurology, immunology and infection. In 2011 he received an honorary degree from the Université de Montréal for his contribution to Society.

His education consists of a Doctorate degree (PhD, ‘91) in chemistry from Université de Montréal and post-doctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, as well as an Executive-MBA (2000) from LFGSM, in Chicago, Illinois. He is an accredited Director from the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) from McGill-Rotman Schools of Business.

Franklin Berger

Franklin Berger joined the Board of BELLUS Health in May 2010 bringing over 25 years of experience in capital markets and financial analysis.

Mr. Berger worked at Sectoral Asset Management as a senior portfolio manager on the buy-side and founder of the small-cap focused NEMO Fund from 2007 through June 2008. Mr. Berger was Managing Director, Equity Research and Senior Biotechnology Analyst for J. P. Morgan Securities from 1998 to 2003. During his years at J.P. Morgan he was involved with the issuance of over $12 billion in biotechnology company equity or equity-linked securities, including the Genentech initial public offering, the largest biotechnology financing to date. From 1997 to 1998, he served as a Director, Equity Research and Senior Biotechnology Analyst for Salomon Smith Barney. From 1991 to 1997, he served as a sell-side analyst for Josephthal & Co. The Wall Street Journal selected Mr. Berger as the No. 1 ranked biotechnology analyst in its All-Star Analyst Survey in 1997 and No. 2 ranked in the WSJ's 2000 Survey.

In 2002, Institutional Investor Magazine ranked him on J. P. Morgan's 3rd-placed All-Star Research Team.

Mr. Berger also serves on the Board of Directors of Five Prime Therapeutics, Immune Design Corp., ESSA Pharma and Proteostasis Therapeutics.

Mr. Berger received a B.A. in International Relations, an M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. He is a Founding Fellow of the Biotechnology Study Center at New York University School of Medicine.

Pierre Larochelle

Pierre Larochelle has served as a Director of BELLUS Health since June 2009. Mr. Larochelle joined Power Corporation of Canada in March 2009 as Vice-President, Investments.

Prior to joining Power Corporation of Canada, Mr. Larochelle was President and Chief Executive Officer at Adaltis, a position he held between November 2003 and February 2009. Previously, he also held the positions of Vice-President, Business Development at Picchio Pharma Inc. and Vice-President, Mergers and Acquisitions for Credit Suisse First Boston in London, England. Mr. Larochelle started his career as a lawyer, at the Montreal offices of Ogilvy Renault.

Mr. Larochelle serves on the Board of Directors of Sagard Capital, Sagard SAS, Victoria Square Ventures and Lumenpulse Inc.

He holds a law degree from Université de Montréal, a masters degree in international business law from McGill University and a MBA degree from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Joseph Rus

Joseph Rus has served as a Director of BELLUS Health since June 2009.

Joseph Rus joined Shire Pharmaceuticals in 1999, following 25 years of experience with two major pharmaceutical companies in both Canadian and Global assignments. Working out of the Shire United Kingdom offices he was charged with establishing Shire’s European foothold. This was accomplished in 2000, with the acquisition of profitable companies in Germany, Italy, France and Spain. After the acquisition of Roberts Pharmaceuticals, he returned to Canada to manage the Canadian Operation. Subsequent to the Biochem acquisition, Mr. Rus moved to Montreal as President and CEO of Shire-Biochem in 2001. In the year 2002, Mr. Rus returned to the U.K. as Head of Shire’s International Operations (all countries except USA). Since that time, Mr. Rus also serves on Shire’s Executive Committee as well as the Portfolio Review Committee. In 2006 Mr. Rus was charged with the responsibility of establishing affiliates in the increasingly important Emerging Markets, and by 2009 affiliates were open in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Australia and Japan. Additionally, the management of the Royalty Revenue Investment Portfolio and Intellectual Property Transition were managed out of Shire’s Dublin, Ireland Offices, under Mr. Rus’ leadership. During his tenure at Roche, Mr. Rus was responsible for the Canadian Pharmaceutical business (1994-1998), prior to this, between 1985 -1994 he assumed positions of increasing responsibility including Country Management from the Roche Headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. Germany, Italy, Greece, Portugal and later Canada delivered significant profitability levels to Roche on a revenue of $1.5 billion. In 1972, Mr. Rus began his career in Canada with Warner Lambert. Over the years, he acquired broad experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry, rising rapidly in positions of Sales Management, Marketing, Operations, Clinical Research and Business Development.

Mr. Rus is a Canadian Citizen, received his education in Romania, and is a Graduate of the Executive Marketing Program at the University of Western Ontario (Canada), as well as the International Program at the Institute of Management and Development of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Mr. Rus is multi-lingual, speaking English, Romanian and Hungarian with a practical knowledge of French, Italian and German.

Previously, Mr. Rus was a member of the following Boards: Merus Labs International, ViroChem, Adaltis, United Way (Montreal), Shire Acquisition, Glaxo-Smith-Kline-Shire Canada Inc., Shire Italia S.P., Shire Pharmaceuticals Mexico SAdeCV, 3829359 Canada Inc. and Tanaud International BV.

Dr. Martin Tolar

Dr. Martin Tolar has served as a Director of BELLUS Health since October 2010 and is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Alzheon, a private biotechnology company.

From January 2012 to October 2012, Dr. Tolar was President and Chief Executive Officer of Knome, a private life science company. Before joining Knome, Dr. Tolar held executive positions in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including as Chief Executive Officer of NormOxys, where he successfully built and financed the business and advanced the company’s novel cancer therapeutics from a research project into clinical development. Prior to NormOxys, he was Chief Business Officer at CoMentis, where he led the company’s scientific and business growth and negotiated a landmark collaboration agreement with Astellas Pharma. Prior to CoMentis, Dr. Tolar held a variety of leadership positions at Pfizer in roles in clinical development and business development, in which he was instrumental in a wide range of business development transactions and directed programs through all stages of clinical development and NDA submissions. Prior to entering the private sector, Dr. Tolar was Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine.

He trained in Neurology at the Boston Medical Center, received a PhD in Neuroscience, and published a number of scientific publications in the area of neuroscience and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Tolar was, until 2013, a member of the Board of Directors of Suven Life Sciences, a public biopharmaceutical company based in Hyderabad, India, focused on innovative drug development of novel first-in-class or best-in-class therapies through the use of GPCR targets.

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