Melanie Rolli Bio

Melanie Rolli is a seasoned leader in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, boasting over two decades of experience in both executive and non-executive roles. In June 2022, she assumed the role of Group Chief Operating Officer at Helsinn, a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland. Helsinn is known for its diversified pipeline of innovative oncology assets and a strong track record of successful commercial execution, with a resolute commitment to delivering life-changing products to cancer patients worldwide. Melanie Rolli is responsible for managing Helsinn's team of experts, driving business growth, and overseeing the development and commercialization plans for the company's cutting-edge oncology pipeline.

Prior to joining Helsinn, Melanie held various leadership positions over her impressive career. She spent 14 years at Novartis, where she played a pivotal role in different capacities, including Global Head of Medical Safety in Group Drug Development, Global Head of Integrated Medical Safety in Oncology, and Therapeutic Area Safety Leader for Critical Care, Drug Safety, and Epidemiology.

Additionally, Melanie served as Chief Executive Officer at both AELIX Therapeutics and PIQUR Therapeutics, where she focused on the development of medicines in HIV, dermatology, and oncology. Her broad expertise encompasses managing complex organizations across various geographies, fundraising to support innovative drug development, executing company visions and strategies, and demonstrating a highly relevant pipeline development acumen.

Melanie Rolli's educational background is equally impressive. She graduated from the Medical School at the University of Heidelberg in Germany with a Doctorate in Medicine and Pharmacology. Following this, she worked as a Clinician in Medical & Surgical Oncology at the Department of Women's Health at the University Medical Hospital in Mannheim, Germany. She later completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at SCRIPPS Research Institute for Molecular and Experimental Medicine in cancer research in La Jolla, California, USA.


  • Helsinn Group

    • Group CEO (Jan 2023 - Present)
    • Chief Operating Officer (Jun 2022 - Dec 2022)
    • Location: Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland
  • Non-Executive Director

    • Baccinex (Nov 2020 - Present)
  • Non-Executive Director

    • ERYTECH Pharma (Mar 2020 - May 2023)
    • Location: Rivia
  • Non-Executive Director

    • Rivia (Dec 2021 - Dec 2022)
    • AELIX Therapeutics (Apr 2021 - Dec 2021)
  • Chief Executive Officer

    • PIQUR Therapeutics AG (May 2019 - Apr 2021)
    • Location: Basel Area, Switzerland
  • Chief Operating Officer

    • PIQUR Therapeutics AG (Jun 2018 - Apr 2019)
    • Chief Medical Officer (Mar 2017 - Apr 2019)
    • Location: Basel Area, Switzerland
  • Novartis

    • Global Head Medical Safety, Group Drug Development (Jul 2016 - Mar 2017)

    • Location: Basel, Switzerland

    • Leading all aspects of medical safety across the Novartis portfolio

    • Global Head Integrated Medical Safety, Oncology (Aug 2014 - Jul 2016)

    • Therapeutic Area Safety Leader_Critical Care, Drug Safety and Epidemiology, VP (Jan 2013 - Aug 2014)

    • Location: Basel Area, Switzerland

    • Chief Scientific Officer a.i. GEM (Nov 2012 - Jan 2013)

    • Location: Basel

    • Head of Medical Affairs, Group Emerging Markets (Feb 2011 - Jan 2013)

    • Location: Basel Area, Switzerland

    • Various Global and Local Roles (Mar 2003 - Jan 2011)

    • Location: United States

  • Women's Luncheon

    • GLG Institute (2014)
  • Research Fellow

    • The Scripps Research Institute (2001 - 2003)
    • Location: Scripps Research logo


  • Heidelberg University

    • Medical Doctor, Gyn/Obs, Pharmacology (1992 - 1999)
  • The Scripps Research Institute

    • Postdoc at MEM (2001 - 2003)
    • Location: Scripps Research logo
  • Imperial College London

    • Executive Education, Business Administration and Management, General (Oct 2021 - Oct 2021)
    • Specialization: Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Harvard Business School Executive Education

    • Finance for non-financial professionals, Finance, General (Oct 2015 - Oct 2015)

Melanie Rolli's extensive experience, combined with her dedication to advancing healthcare, makes her a notable figure in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Her leadership and commitment to improving the lives of cancer patients continue to drive innovation and growth at Helsinn Group.

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