I am a medical doctor, with a master’s degree in business administration, and more than 25 years’ experience in global and local development and commercialisation of pharmaceuticals. I worked across a number of disease areas including renal, diabetes, heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, ophthalmics and Parkinson’s disease.

I joined AstraZeneca as Global Medicine Leader in our CVRM portfolio overseeing development of a diabetes medicine in 2015. Since then, I have taken on increasing responsibility and expanded my remit to include Vice President of the same medicine in 2017, followed by Vice President Diabetes Injectables in 2018, and most recently, as Global Medicine Leader – Vice President for an additional medicine in our Renal portfolio in 2019.  

I lead the worldwide development, registration, life cycle management, launch and commercialisation of the products I am responsible for. I have overseen the development, registration and US launch of a new formulation of a diabetes medicine and more patient friendly diabetes device, in addition to delivering innovative life-cycle management programmes.

I am also involved in design and implementation of the renal disease area strategy and the product strategy for an investigational medicine in type-2 diabetes.

I earned my medical doctorate at the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France, in 1991. For several years, I specialised in drug development while practising medicine and leading international projects for clinical research organisations.

From there, my interest in business led me to take an MBA in international business from the International University of America in San Francisco, California, in 1997. This was the year I joined Novartis where I remained for 19 years before joining AstraZeneca, holding positions of increasing responsibility, and gaining extensive registration and launch experience across disease areas and locations.

I like to overcome challenges, and, if possible, exceed expectations. I also enjoy learning new things along the way, and have plenty of opportunities to do that at AstraZeneca. Right now, there are a great number of opportunities for development at AstraZeneca. It’s very exciting, and the portfolio is just amazing.

Marie-José (MJ) Hoellinger, MD, MBA Global Product Leader & VP Commercial, Lokelma & Bydureon


2017: AstraZeneca CEO Award


Global Product Leader & VP Commercial, Lokelma & Bydureon

During my career, I built and led a global Cardiovascular Medical Affairs franchise around two well-known heart failure medicines. Before that, I contributed to investigating a medicine for type-2 diabetes.

I led the development of a second-generation active immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease which unfortunately was not successful in phase III.

I led the Ophthalmics clinical research group and launched the first medication for age related macular disease.

  Featured publications

Individualised treatment targets for elderly patients with type-2 diabetes using vildagliptin add-on or lone therapy (INTERVAL): a 24 week, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

The Lancet, Volume 382, Issue 9890, Pages 409 - 416, 3 August 2013. Dr W David Strain MD, Valentina Lukashevich MD, Wolfgang Kothny MD, Marie-José Hoellinger MD, Päivi Maria Paldánius MMedSci.