The Aeterna Zentaris Corporate Officer team is comprised of senior executives with extensive acquisition, financial, clinical development, marketing and commercial experience in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. 


Michael V. Ward

President & Chief Executive Officer, Aeterna Zentaris
Managing Director, Aeterna Zentaris

Michael has over thirty years of executive and legal experience in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and technology industries. Most recently, he served as an executive officer for Sagent Pharmaceuticals, a NASDAQ-listed global specialty generic pharmaceutical company, and led its sale to Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. for $736 million. Michael has served as Strategic Advisor to Benevolent Capital Partners for the last five years. Michael has also served in several executive roles and was responsible for business development, compliance, legal and operational matters in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and technology industries during his career. 

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Leslie Auld

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Aeterna Zentaris

Leslie has over twenty-five years of accounting, finance and pharmaceutical industry experience, with increasingly senior roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Helix BioPharma Corp., Luminex Diagnostics (formerly TM BioScience Corp.), Attwell Capital Inc. (formerly Fralex Therapeutics) and GeneNews Limited. A Chartered Professional Accountant, Ms. Auld graduated with an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacology & Toxicology from the University of Western Ontario and has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Toronto.

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Brian Garrison

Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Operations & Corporate Development, Aeterna Zentaris

Brian brings almost 20 years of pharmaceutical sales, marketing and commercialization experience to Aeterna Zentaris. While at the company, he has held the roles of National Sales Director, managing the co-promotion efforts for two endocrinology products and a urology diagnostic and as the Marketing Director for Macrilen™. Before joining Aeterna Zentaris, he served as the Oncology Reimbursement Marketing Director at Amgen, Inc. in charge of the Field Reimbursement Team and the Oncology Call Center for all of its oncology brands. While at Amgen, Brian also worked on the access strategy for several of the key brands including: Neulasta®, Neupogen®, Vectibix® and Imlygic® and Enbrel® for which he earned top marketing honors for his work. Prior to his work on Enbrel®, Brian was a Sales Manager for the Bone Health Business Unit, launching the first-in-class biologic therapy for osteoporosis, Prolia®.  He began his career at Merck & Co., winning top national sales honors, both as a representative and sales manager. Brian is a combat veteran, leading an infantry platoon with the 10th Mountain Division through combat operations in the Horn of Africa. Brian is a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, where he was commissioned as an Infantry officer, serving 10 years active duty in the U.S. Army.  

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Nicola Ammer

Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer, Aeterna Zentaris

Nicola was appointed as our Vice President, Clinical Development and as Chief Medical Officer in February 2018. She serves as one of our executive officers. Dr. Ammer, who is based in the Frankfurt, Germany, office of our German subsidiary, began her career in the pharmaceutical medicine environment in the CRO business in 2002 and gained profound knowledge of all aspects of clinical research & development in various positions with increasing responsibility, including a Director of Clinical Operations. She joined Aeterna Zentaris GmbH in March 2015 as Clinical Program Director and took over the role of the Head of Clinical Development in January 2016. She possesses numerous skills in the area of pharmaceutical medicine and contributed significantly to the successful completion of the macimorelin clinical development program in the adult indication. Dr. Ammer obtained the license to practice medicine in 1995 after completion of her academic studies at the University of Essen. She was awarded a doctorate diploma in medicine by the University of Münster in 2004 and a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Medicine by the University Duisburg-Essen in 2009.