1–2 JulyBasel, Switzerland

Featured Speaker


Designing Medicines of the Future and Integrating External Discovery Capabilities with Internal Projects

Harri Salo, Head of Project Coordination, Orion Pharma

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Dr. Harri Salo will speak about the integration of external discovery capabilities with the activities of internal projects. How to make most of external technological capabilities to support the early discovery programs? What are the experiences from a mid-sized pharma company point of view when working with various external partners and CRO’s during various discovery phases?


As Head of Project Coordination, Harri is responsible for leading the operations of medicinal chemistry team leaders and development managers. He is responsible for chemistry and in vitro research outsourcing activities and managing the internal chemistry resourcing.

Harri holds a Master of Science in Organic Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Bioorganic chemistry from the University of Turku, Finland.

After Ph.D. in 1999, Harri started his career in pharma industry at Juvantia Pharma Ltd., where he hold positions of Scientist, Senior Scientist and Laboratory Manager in the medicinal chemistry department. In 2004 he joined Orion Pharma R&D and has been working there in several discovery programs and in several positions from a scientist to a medicinal chemistry lead in CNS and oncology therapy areas. Since 2012 he has hold managerial position and in 2017 he was appointed as Head of Project Coordination in the current organization of Global Medicine Design. Overall, Harri has over twenty years of experience in medicinal chemistry and more than fourteen years experience in outsourcing activities.

Company profile

About Orion

Orion is a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company - a builder of well-being. Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company is continuously developing new drugs and treatment methods. The core therapy areas of Orion's pharmaceutical R&D are central nervous system (CNS) disorders, oncology and respiratory diseases for which Orion develops inhaled Easyhaler® pulmonary drugs.
Orion's main market is Finland, where it is the clear market leader. Orion’s products are marketed in over a hundred countries, and the Group's own human pharmaceuticals sales organisation covers almost all key European markets. In other markets Orion’s products are sold by several collaboration partners. All of Orion's manufacturing plants and most of its R&D operations are in Finland. Orion’s headquarters are in Espoo. In the year 2018 Orion employed around 3200 people, net sales were 977.5 million € and R&D expenses 104.0 million €

Orion R&D

Orion’s pharmaceutical innovations are created within its R&D organisation. The organisation employs top professionals in the field of drug molecule development and optimisation. There are around 500 professionals working in R&D. Orion has offices in Espoo, Turku and Kuopio in Finland, and in Nottingham in England and Mumbai in India.

In its own R&D, Orion focuses on early-phase drug development. Orion has launched several proprietary products onto the market in various therapy areas.

In the initial and final stages of research projects Orion works together with skilled partners, such as universities and other pharmaceutical companies.

The partnerships allow Orion to work on a large number of research projects simultaneously while focusing on its own core competence. Successful research also benefits our partners.


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