Who's Who of Professional Women


A pharmaceutical pioneer, Ilse Piippo is renowned for her expertise in drug and molecule development. She has experience with every step of the process, from the beginning to market distribution, and she understands what should and should not be done in terms of regulatory requirements. This made her an invaluable addition to any team, spurring her growth through the industry. Over the years, Dr. Piippo rose from positions like project manager at Orion Yhtyma Oy to head of analytical and pharmaceutical development and head of regulatory affairs, quality assurance, and pharmacovigilance at Orion Yhtyma Oy, vice president of regulatory affairs at BioTie Therapies Ltd, and vice president of vaccine safety and clinical development at FIT Biotech. She then became the senior director of regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, and quality assurance at Sanofi-Aventis (formerly Centelion SAS) and the chief medical officer and vice president of drug development at Faron Pharmaceuticals. Despite finding the challenge of navigating the ever-changing nature of the industry enjoyable, she decided to step down from the latter position and retire in 2017.

Dr. Piippo attributes much of her success to working for smaller companies, which required her to be well-rounded. Since there were less people, everyone had to take on more responsibilities. Although the heavy task load was very time-consuming, it also offered a unique insight into pharmaceuticals. One of the highlights of Dr. Piippo’s career was getting marking authorization for breast cancer treatment products. She was also proud to receive approval to start manufacturing biological products; knowing that the chemical entities and new drugs will save the lives of patients made it all worth it. Her professional designations include a Master of Science in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Helsinki, an MD from the University if Kuopio, and a license from the Finnish Medical Association, as well as certification in pharmaceutical medicine.

Looking to the future, Dr. Piippo intends to enjoy her retirement and pursue interests like gardening, literature, and jazz. She is also considering consulting, although she wouldn’t go back to work full-time.

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