Saol Therapeutics News

EY Announces Dave Penake of Saol Therapeutics as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Southeast Award Finalist

Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates ambitious entrepreneurs who are shaping the future

ROSWELL, Ga, DUBLIN and HAMILTON, Bermuda, May 1, 2024– Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that CEO Dave Penake of Saol Therapeutics was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Southeast Award finalist. The Southeast program celebrates entrepreneurs from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.  Now in its 38th year, Entrepreneur Of The Year is the preeminent competitive business award for audacious leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize sectors and have a transformational impact on lives. Over the past four decades, the program has recognized the daring entrepreneurs with big ideas and bold actions that reshape our world.

Penake was one of 34 regional entrepreneurs selected as finalists by an independent panel of judges. The candidates were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by EY as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® Southeast Award finalist,” said Penake.  “Our team at Saol is so passionate about our work.  Every day, we try to make a difference and find ways to help more patients.  This recognition is a wonderful reflection of what we have accomplished to date as a team at Saol Therapeutics.”

Penake has been the CEO of Saol Therapeutics since 2016.  His leadership has shaped the company's trajectory, including securing over $100M in financing and orchestrating divestitures that provide funding for advancing new product development.

Under his guidance, Saol's late-stage pipeline continues to progress rapidly.  The company recently announced the completion of enrollment in a Phase III trial for a rare mitochondrial disease – Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex Deficiency (PDCD).  This program has received Orphan, Rare Pediatric, and Fast Track Designation from the FDA.

Separately, Saol has also completed enrollment in two separate Phase II studies for the company's SL-1002 program, which is currently being studied for both the treatment of spasticity and pain related to knee osteoarthritis.

“As exciting as the last few years have been at Saol, I believe we are still just in the early stages of what we are ultimately going to accomplish as we continue to grow this company,” added Penake.  “We have made significant strides in progressing all three of our development programs recently, and I continue to see the team looking for ways to accelerate our progress.  Every employee at Saol is truly an entrepreneur at their core, and it’s one of the reasons I think we all enjoy what we are building here together.”

Entrepreneur Of The Year honors many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage and entrepreneurial spirit. The program celebrates original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organization to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

Regional award winners will be announced on June 20 during a special celebration and will become lifetime members of an esteemed community of Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni from around the world. The winners will then be considered by the National judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.

In addition to Entrepreneur Of The Year, EY US supports other entrepreneurs through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program and the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network to help connect women founders and Black and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs, respectively, with the resources, network and access needed to unlock their full potential.



Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, Cresa, Marsh USA, SAP and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In In the Southeast, sponsors also include VACO LLC as the regional Platinum sponsor; King & Spalding as the regional Gold sponsor; and ADP and Babbit Bodner as the regional Silver sponsors.


About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Founded in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year® has celebrated more than 11,000 ambitious visionaries who are leading successful, dynamic businesses in the US, and it has since expanded to nearly 80 countries and territories globally.

The US program consists of 17 regional programs whose panels of independent judges select the regional award winners every June. Those winners compete for national recognition at the Strategic Growth Forum® in November where National finalists and award winners are announced. The overall National winner represents the US at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® competition. Visit


About Saol Therapeutics

Saol Therapeutics (pronounced "Sail") is a privately held, clinical-stage, pharmaceutical company with operations in Roswell, GA, Dublin, Ireland and Hamilton, Bermuda.  Saol is focused on development activity in CNS disorders such as spasticity and pain management, and orphan diseases.  Saol is committed to providing and advancing therapeutic options for patients and the physicians treating these populations.  For more information, visit


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