I currently lead the Advance Drug Delivery team at AstraZeneca. As part of my remit, I have been instrumental in delivering new modality formulations for clinical studies, most notably vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA currently evaluated for cardiac regeneration, building intracellular drug delivery capabilities, and sponsoring initiatives on augmenting drug discovery with artificial intelligence.

I have a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Copenhagen, and an MBA from Pepperdine University in California on Change Management and Leadership. Before joining AstraZeneca I worked for Amgen and Merck with responsibility for small molecule and peptide formulations. I built outsourcing partnerships in China, drove in licensing and partnership evaluations, and contributed to getting small molecule therapies to the market.

I have published over 40 articles and serve on the editorial board for the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. I also hold several patents for pharmaceutical technologies enabling drug delivery of small molecules and biologics.

I am an advocate of career development for women, chartered the  “Women in Pharmaceutical Sciences” movement for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, for which I am also a board member.

By overcoming biological barriers which have previously prevented drug delivery, we are now bringing new drug modalities, such as peptides, proteins, antisense oligonucleotides and mRNA, to the clinic

Annette Bak Head of Advanced Drug Delivery, Pharmaceutical Sciences, R&D


Head of Advanced Drug Delivery, Pharmaceutical Sciences, R&D


Completed the initial build of the Advanced Drug Delivery department at AstraZeneca, to drive the delivery of new modalities across tissues barrier and to cells


Advocated collaboration of pharmaceutical sciences with discovery to give rise to novel small molecule and peptide candidates


Leadership in establishing the pharmaceutical co-crystal approach as a tractable solid form for small molecules.

  Featured publications

Local delivery of macromolecules to treat diseases associated with the colon.

Bak A, Ashford M, Brayden DJ. Adv. Drug Deliv Rev (2018), 136-137: 2-27. Publication link.

Translating Cell and Gene biopharmaceutical products for health and market impact Product scaling from clinical to marketplace: Lessons learned and future outlook

Bak A, Friis KP, Wu Y, Ho RJY. J Pharm Sci (2019), 1-7 Publication link