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Goodbye industry, hello immersion

René Holm is leaving the pharma industry to have more time for research at SDU

By Birgitte Svennevig, , 4/21/2021

Ever since earning his PhD degree 20 years ago, René Holm has worked in the pharma industry, including at Lundbeck and for the last five years as head of development of pharmaceutical formulations with Janssen in Belgium, where he has also been living.

But now René Holm has decided to pull up stakes and move back to Denmark, where he has assumed his new position as Professor of Pharmaceutical Physical Chemistry at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy (PCP).

He has brought in one of the NOVO NORDISK Foundation’s new Start Package grants of 6.5 million DKK, which support Danish research institutions in their efforts to establish a research group around a newly recruited researcher and to relocate and establish a laboratory, among other things.

Educate next generation

- I’ve always worked in the industry – and generally been very happy with my work there. I’ve been engaged in whatever the company needed from a research perspective. Now, I will be returning to Denmark and do science and educate the next generation of researchers to wherever their paths may take them. I’m very much looking forward to having time for dissemination, research and immersion, says René Holm.

Over the years, he has been involved in many different tasks but has been particularly busy developing a special kind of sustained-release medication. And by sustained release, we’re not talking about a couple of days, but about months – up to 6 months. In medical parlance, these are called long-acting injectables.

This means that patients don’t have to remember to take their medication once or several times a day; one injection every six months is enough.

Unpleasant to be reminded of illness every day

By nature, long-acting injectables aren’t relevant for short-term disease courses, but they are highly relevant for chronic patients.

René Holm has been involved in developing three such drugs: two for schizophrenia and one for HIV.

- Such drugs can be ideal for patients who, for example, have difficulty remembering to take their medication or have a poor understanding of their disease. On top of that, not being constantly reminded of one’s disease is also worth a lot, he says.

A scientist and inventor

René Holm is concerned with how a drug releases its active substances in the best possible way in a patient’s body, and he will continue to do research in this area at SDU. It’s by no means insignificant where, when and in what doses a substance is released into a patient’s body.

- I’m a scientist and inventor, and that’s what I like best. I hope that at SDU I can immerse myself into scientifically interesting issues.

In addition to his new job as a researcher at PCP, René Holm will also be busy building his new house in Nr. Søby, where he has bought a building plot.

Meet the researcher

Rene Holm is a professor at Detpartment of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy.

Go to profile

Editing was completed: 21.04.2021