November 20, 1947 |
Ascoli Piceno, Italy,
|Residence||Quebec, Canada, (immigrated 1967)|
|Notable awards||Several awards received from 1987 to 2016|
He is a pioneer scientist-entrepreneur in the Canadian bio-pharmaceutical industry, he was co-founder of Biochem Pharma, as well as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer from 1986 to 2001. He has authored or co-authored more than twenty-five patents over his 20-year career as a research scientist.
Youth and schooling
Born in 1947 in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, Bellini immigrated to Canada in 1967. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola College (now Concordia University) in 1972 and his doctorate in organic chemistry from University of New Brunswick in 1977. He is the author and co-author of some 30 patents and has published numerous articles and papers based on his research.
Francesco Bellini is chairman of Picchio International, a privately owned company investing mainly in the fields of healthcare. Bellini also serves as Chairman of Klox Technologies – a privately owned company currently developing innovative and highly effective therapeutic and cosmetic solutions for use in the fields of dentistry, dermatology and tissue repair; BELLUS Health – a publicly traded company [TSX:BLU] focusing on developing drugs for rare diseases; and FB Health – a privately owned company involved in the research, development and commercialization of innovative molecules for the prevention and treatment of diseases in the Psychiatric, Neurologic and Geriatric fields.
Until 2001, Bellini was chairman of BioChem Pharma, an industry leader in HIV and a biopharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases and cancer, which he co-founded in 1986. BioChem discovered the antiviral drug Epivir (3TC), which to this day is the cornerstone for AIDS therapy. From 1968 to 1984, he worked as a researcher at the Canadian subsidiary of a multinational pharmaceutical company. In 1984, Bellini established the Biochemicals Division of the Institut Armand-Frappier at the Université du Québec, specializing in research, manufacturing and the commercialization of fine chemicals which in 1986 became BioChem Pharma and in 2001 was successively acquired by Shire plc for $6 billion.
In 2003, his passion for wine resulted in the creation of a state-of-the-art winery, designed to generate the least amount of visual and ecological impact on the environment – a testament to the continuous drive of producing natural wine. Domodimonti is a boutique winery located on the picturesque countryside of Montefiore dell'Aso in Le Marche, Italy.
Prior to this, Bellini was chairman of ViroChem Pharma, which was acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals in 2009. Between 1997 and June 2014, Bellini served as a director on the board of Molson Coors Brewing Company.
Bellini is also a member of the following boards of directors: Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and Italian Chamber of Commerce.
On 3 February 2014, Bellini founded Ascoli Picchio F.C. 1898, and three days later the new club acquired all the rights of the bankrupted Ascoli Calcio 1898, the historical football team of Bellini's hometown.  He is currently the club's President and majority stakeholder.
For his major contribution in the fields of entrepreneurship, research and economy, Bellini has received the title of ‘Cavaliere del Lavoro’, the most prestigious honor granted by the Italian Republic. Over the years, Bellini has received the following awards.
- 1987 — Successors: Second Annual Celebration of Canada's Unsung Business Heroes Canadian Business Magazine
- 1991 — Man of the Month Revue Commerce (Commerce Magazine)
- 1992 — Premio Award (Business Category) Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association
- 1993 — Ernest A. Le Sueur Memorial Lecturer Award Society of Chemical Industry of Canada
- 1994 — Prix Industrie 1994 « Association de la recherché industrielle du Québec » (Industrial Research Association of Quebec)
- 1995 — Personality of the Year Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association
- 1995 — The Golden Lion « Ordine Figli d'Italia » (Order of the Sons of Italy)
- 1996 — Italian Entrepreneurs Around The World Yesterday and Today - Canada: New Frontiers in Pharmacology « 5 Imprenditori Italiani nel mondo ieri eoggi, Milan: Libri Scheiwiller, 1996. Canada: Le nuove frontiere della farmacologia di Dott. Francesco Bellini »
- 1996 — Award of Distinction Concordia University Faculty of Commerce and Administration - Montreal, Canada
- 1997 — Imprenditore dell’anno-Premio International Ernst & Young « Camera di Commercio di Milano di Unioncamere »
- 1997 — Onorificenza Di Grande Ufficiale, Government of Italy
- 1998 — Quebec's Top 50 Revue Commerce (Commerce Magazine)
- 1998 — Lauréat de la réussite (Magazine Entreprendre)
- 1998 — Honorary Degree Doctorate of Science from University of New Brunswick - New Brunswick, Canada
- 1998 — Honorary Degree Doctorate of Science from University of Ottawa - Ottawa, Canada
- 1998 — National Merit from Ottawa Life Sciences Council
- 1999 — Member of Great Montrealers « Académie des Grands Montréalais »
- 1999 — Les Bâtisseurs de 1950 à 1999 Revue Commerce (Commerce Magazine)
- 2000 — Member of C.P.Q.'s Entrepreneurs Club « Conseil du Patronat du Quebec »
- 2000 — Officer Order of Canada
- 2001 — Member of Excelia Club BioQuebec
- 2002 — Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal
- 2002 — Personality of the Week La Presse
- 2002 — Honorary Degree Doctorate of Laws from Concordia University - Montreal, Canada
- 2003 — Personality of the Year, Business Category, Cyberpresse La Presse
- 2004 — Honorary Degree Doctorate of Science from McGill University - Montreal, Canada
- 2004 — Officer National Order of Quebec
- 2005 — Honorary Degree Doctorate of Laws from Queen's University - Ontario, Canada
- 2005 — Cavaliere del Lavoro Italian Government (Italian orders of merit)
- 2006 — Picchio D'Oro
- 2010 — Honorary Degree Doctorate of Science from McMaster University - Ontario, Canada
- 2012 — Honorary Degree Doctorate of Science from University of Camerino - Le Marche, Italy
- 2013 — Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal
- 2014 — President of Ascoli Picchio F.C. 1898
- 2016 — PhD honoris causa in Pharmaceutical Science from "La Sapienza University" of Rome.
- Canadian Who's Who Search. Grey House Publishing Canada.
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