ELITE 2022 Transformational Leader Ron Cooper of Albireo Pharma

Ron Cooper

President and Chief Executive Officer

Albireo Pharma

Scaling Up Small Biotech

Ron Cooper helped transform Albireo Pharma from a small, 10-person, privately owned biotech spun out from AstraZeneca in 2008, to a 150-person, publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel bile acid modulators for pediatric and adult liver diseases.

What helped prepare him for his success leading Albireo was more than 25 years at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) where he held roles of increasing responsibility in sales, marketing, and general management. In his role as President of Europe, he was responsible for more than 30 countries with revenue exceeding $4.5 billion. Throughout his career at BMS, Ron was instrumental in numerous product successes, such as the launch of Abilify, Atripla, Eliquis, Orencia, Sprycel, and Yervoy.

As Albireo’s first President and CEO, Ron spearheaded the company’s strategy to focus on pediatric liver disease in 2015, with the goal of taking the company public within the next year. He led his team through seven financial transactions to fund the company prior to going public, including a share exchange transaction with Biodel Inc. and $10 million in new capital investment, providing approximately $30 million to enable Albireo to advance the development of its pipeline.

Following Albireo’s public offering, Ron has remained a champion for the science that the company is built on. His efforts played a key role in the 2021 approval of Bylvay (odevixibat), the first drug approved for a rare cholestatic liver disease in the U.S. and in Europe.

Ron’s leadership has also been valuable in guiding Albireo through developing novel medicines to treat rare pediatric cholestatic liver diseases, as well as the advancement of additional novel, innovative pipeline compounds for adult liver and viral diseases. Throughout it all, Ron ensures all company developments live up to its mission of providing hope for families and putting patients first.


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