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01. Early life in the village of Komarevo and in the town of Berkovitsa5

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The beautiful Balkan village of Komarevo, nearby the town of Berkovitsa5.

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The elite Berkovitza high school "Dr. Ivan Panov"5.

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Berkovitza town and view towards Berkovitza mountain and Kom peak5.

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View towards peak Kom nearby the village of Komarevo5.

Angel Petrov Kirkov is born in the beautiful Balkan village Komarevo, Berkovitsa municipality, Montana area (then Ferdinand area), on 9 November, 19275. He grew up in large patriarchal immediate and extended family5. His family was respected then with its hardwork and enterprise5. He spent his childhood in the village of Komarevo, while strictly abiding by patriarchal orders in his family5. Nearby each other 17 adults, youngsters and children lived, all from one family5. He graduated his elementary education in the village of Komarevo and in the nearby village of Borovtsi5. His secondary education he graduated in the nearest town Berkovitsa, which is situated in the foot of Berkovitsa mountain with its famous peak “Kom”5. He graduated from the Berkovitsa high school “Dr. Ivan Panov”, which was among the oldest and among those high schools at the time with rich spiritual and school traditions in Northwestern Bulgaria5.

02. First initiatives in the business with herbs5

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Blackberries, one of the forest fruitsharvested by Angel Kirkov and by his harvesting peer groups5.

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St. John's Wort, one of the herbs thatwere harvested by Angel Kirkov and by the groups of harvesting peers he organized5.

Family business

From an early age, during the period of his elementary education, Angel Kirkov works hard and assists the family business of animal husbandry (e.g. buffaloes and birds) and agriculture (e.g. fruits and vegetables)5. This family business was one of the most prosperous in the village of Komarevo5. His family was among the most respected, enterprising and beloved in the region5, 7. After he signs up in the profiled high school "Dr. Ivan Panov" in Berkovitsa, Angel Kirkov desided to support himself financially on his own and not to rely on financial support from his family5. During the whole period of his secondary education in Berkovitsa, Angel Kirkov works hard in order to support himself5.

03. Business higher education and activity in business5

Business higher education5

In 1946 Angel Kirkov is admitted as a student in the Business faculty of the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, which he graduated in 19505. During this time he bagan higher education, which was not common in Bulgaria during those years5. He was admitted in the University after excellent results from admission exam with theme „Progessive ideas in Bulgarian literature“5. In order to attend the University he received Sofia citizenship after he became first in success as an Officer during that time in the Montana region5. The degree, which he signed up for is “Strategic planning”5.

Business activity5

Meanwhile, as a student he worked in the company of Metodi Tachev, with whom they cultivated trust and already had mutually beneficial business experience in the Montana region5. Metodi Tachev was impressed by Angel Kirkov’s hard work and resourcefulness5. He invited him to work together in Sofia, where Metodi Tachev’s company was based, on trade orders and deals at larger scale with food goods5. In those post-war years those deals even included sales of barrels of sour cabbage to German army, as well as to Russian army5.

04. First steps in big trade5

After he graduated his higher education Angel Kirkov started work as an economist in the Ministry of internal trade, where he worked from 1951 up until September 19555. In this position he stood out in his team with his resourcefulness and hardwork, as well as with his fast execution of projects he worked at towards successful finalization5.

05. Initial management experience in “Bakery products"5

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Angel Kirkov, Director of “Bakeryproducts“, Blagoevski district, Sofia, 19575.

From 1 October, 1955, Angel Kirkov started work in the newly formed enterprise "Bakery products" in the city of Sofia5. As a result of his distinctive work in the Ministry of internal trade earlier, he was hired as Director of the enterprise for the Blagoevski district from 1958 to 1962, where he successfully developed production and sales activities of bakery products5.

06. Chemical second higher education and introduction in natural science5

Studying organic synthesis

During managing the enterprise “Bakery products” for Blagoevski region, Angel Kirkov signs up to study distantly in the "Chemo-technological institute", "CTI" (now "University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, UCTM) in Sofia5. This second higher education in the sphere of industrial chemistry was with concentration in "Organic synthesis"5. At that time in Bulgaria the number of people with one higher education degree was extremely low5. Angel Kirkov graduated successfully his second higher education and becomes Engineer of industrial chemistry5. Having two higher educations, Eng. Angel Kirkov stood out at that time, not only as resourceful and hardworking, but also as a person with significant intellectual capabilities in the spheres of business and chemistry5

07. Initial experience in the pharmaceutical business in the Chemical-pharmaceutical plant5

Entry into the pharmaceutical industry

Thanks to his successful management of "Bakery products", as well as to his two highly applicable higher educations, Eng. Angel Kirkov is hired on new position in the pharmaceutical industry, which at that time was under priority for Bulgaria5. This is the industry with the highest value-added back then, and even now in 20225. On 21 May, 1962, Eng. Angel Kirkov started work as Director of "Chemical-pharmaceutical" plant (CPP) in Sofia up until 1 June, 19655. His new job he accepted with great enthusiasm and ambition to realize his vision for successful development of the enterprise, as it corresponds to his first and second higher education5. As soon as he started work on the new position, Eng. Angel Kirkov already had hos own vision for development of the famous enterprise in Sofia5

08. Setting up State Business Association (SBA) "Pharmachem” and increasing manufacturing and sales volumes5

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Eng. Angel Kirkov, General Director ofSBA "Pharmachem", was awarded together with his team for first place among State Business Associations (SBAs) for superior key performance indicators (KPIs)5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov, General Director, and the team, with whom he worked, the then management of SBA "Pharmachem", in his office5. With some of his colleagues (e.g. Eng. Petko Petkov, Director of Manufacturing of SBA "Pharmachem", in the center of the photo) he later continued work in INBIOTECH, Ltd.5, 7.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov in one of multiplenewly-built under his initiative plants of SBA "Pharmachem"5. Almost all of these pharmaceutical plants function successfully today (2023), but as property of Bulgarian and international pharmaceutical companies5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov, General Director of SBA "Pharmachem", among awarded specialists from Chemical-pharmaceutical plant (CPP) - Sofia, on the occasion of opening of the new manufacturing facility "Antipyretics". Sofia, October, 19675.

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General Director of SBA "Pharmachem"

From June, 1965, Eng. Angel Kirkov heads newly-formed SBA  "Pharmachem", in which includes activities of all pharmaceutical enterprises in Bulgaria for production of medicinal products for human use, medicinal products for veterinary use, essential oil raw materials, cosmetic-parfumery devices, raw materials and semi-finished products5.

As a General director of SBA “Pharmachem”, Eng. Angel Kirkov had personal contribution for formation of „Pharmachem“ as comprehensive cycle, uniting science, manufacturing and commerce17.

09. Development of SBA “Pharmachem” and internationalization of the enterprise5

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Eng. Angel Kirkov speaks in front of attendees of the international “Scientific- Technological Conference” in Bulgaria in October, 19745.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov, General Director ofSBA "Pharmachem" (in the right of the photo) among the first economic delegation to the USA on 14th May, 1968, "In honor of the Bulgarian trade mission to the United States", New York5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov, General Director of SBA "Pharmachem" (in the center of the photo) among the first economic delegation to the USA on 14th May, 1968, "In honor of the Bulgarian trade mission to the United States", New York5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov on commercial visit to Tunisia, Africa, concerning sales of medicinal products in Tunisia5. Eng. Angel Kirkov and his team trade also with Nigeria5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov created good personal and work relationship with the second General Director of L’Oreal, Liliane Bettencourt, after the founder of the company Eugene Paul Louis Schueller, her father5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov in front of marketing material in his office of the toothpaste "Pomorin", with highest sales among toothpastes in Central & Eastern Europe, as well as in Russia and the USSR5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov (in the right of thephoto) (SBA "Pharmachem") at a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, of General Directors of pharmaceutical State Business Associations from the then social countries (CMEA - Council for Mutual Economic Assistance). The lady in the center is the then General Director of "Polfa" (Pharmaceutical Industry Union), the nowadays "Polfarma, S.A.". Warsaw, 19705.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov (on the right of thephoto) (SBA "Pharmachem") at a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, of General Directors of pharmaceutical State Business Associations from the then social countries (CMEA - Council for Mutual Economic Assistance). The lady on the left is the then General Director of "Polfa" (Pharmaceutical Industry Union), the nowadays "Polfarma, S.A.". Warsaw, 19705.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov during his visit to Japan, concerning development of pharmaceutical trade relationship between the Bulgarian and the Japanese pharmaceutical industries5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov visits one of the pharmaceutical plants of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in Japan, with whom he and his team actively traded with Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and medicinal products (1971)5.

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Eng. Angel Kirkov visits one of the pharmaceutical plants of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in Japan, with whom he and his team actively traded with Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and medicinal products (1971)5.

Creation of Scientific Advisory Board

By idea and initiative of Eng. Angel Kirkov а Scientific Advisory Board to SBA "Pharmachem" was created, in which the most distinguished scientists in the chemical-pharmaceutical sphere in Bulgaria participated at that time5. In this Scientific Advisory Board participated the most renowned representatives of the older and newer generation Bulgarian scientists for creation of close ties between science and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Bulgaria5. The aim of this proximity of science and pharmaceutical manufacturing was to correspond to highest international requirements and standards5.

10. Scientific and teaching activity in the Pharmaceutical Faculty to the Medical Academy1

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Medical Academy in Sofia. Here Eng. Angel Kirkov was Deputy-Chairman for Economic Affaires and implements manufacturing of medicinal products and medical devices only for the needs of Medical Academy5.

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Pharmaceutical Faculty to MedicalAcademy in Sofia, where Prof. Angel Kirkov habilitated, wrote and lectured5.

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The first edition of the textbook for students of pharmacy, "Organization & economics of pharmaceutical manufacturing", written in 1981 by Prof. Angel Kirkov5.

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The habilitation work of Dr. Angel Kirkov, D.M.Sc., „Organization and economics of pharmaceutical manufacturing“, 19805, 6.

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Prof. Angel Kirkov wrote this textbook for students of pharmacy in 1985, „Medicines, needs, medicines supply5, 8.

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Prof. Angel Kirkov, "Guide for practicalexercises for organization and economics of pharmaceutical manufacturing", dedicated to students of pharmacy. The first edition was published in 1983 and the second edition was published in 19895, 9.

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Prof. Angel Kirkov and his students ofPharmacy in his office in the Pharmaceutical Faculty of Medical Academy in the 1980s1, 5.

Intermediate years

From 1972 up until 1978 Eng. Angel Kirkov worked as Director of the Institute for Rationing and Effective Utilization of Materials and subsequently started working as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Supply and State Reserves5. On this position he led the highly responsible job of strategic planning for state resources5. For one year, in 1978, he was hired again as General Director of “Pharmachem”, due to aggravated activity of the enterprise during his absence5. He was hired again, in order to contribute again for improvement of the key performance indicators of the enterprise5.

11. Creation and development of INBIOTECH, Ltd. – Private business initiative in the first private pharmaceutical company in Bulgaria after 19895,7

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This is the logo of INBIOTECH, in which creation Prof. Angel Kirkov took part5. This is the actual logo of the company today, as well5. The focus of Prof. Angel Kirkov during the creation of the company, taking into consideration his advanced age, was the Bulgarian pharmaceutical market, which substantiates the element "BULGARIA" under the trade name of the company5.

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Meeting of the initial team of the newly-formed generic pharmaceutical company INBIOTECH on the occasion of a successful year during the 1990s5, 7. Eng. Petko Petkov, with whom Prof. Kirkov worked in the past is next to him on the photo7. The two of them are equally-right partners and owners of the company5, 7. Part of this initial team was from SBA "Pharmachem" and part of it was from qualified and ambitious students, attracted by him from the Pharmaceutical Faculty7.

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Prof. Angel Kirkov, manager and owner of INBIOTECH after 20007.

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ENPRIL® was the first generic of Enalapril maleate in Bulgaria, implemented in manufacturing and on the market by Prof. Kirkov7.

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BIOPRAZOL® is first generic of Omeprazole in Bulgaria, implemented in manufacturing and on the market by Prof. Angel Kirkov7.

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BIOLIN®, first generic of Nimesulide in Bulgaria7.

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Cinnarizine INBIOTECH® is first generic of Cinnarizine in Bulgaria, implemented in manufacturing and on the market by Prof. Angel Kirkov7.

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Prof. Kirkov in the office in the 2000s7.

Manager, partner & owner at INBIOTECH

In 1993 Prof. Angel Kirkov left the Pharmaceutical Faculty when he was 64 years of age and began work as Manager and Owner of INBIOTECH, Ltd., newly-formed private generic pharmaceutical company in Bulgaria, founded in 1991 in Sofia5, 7. Initially, he was Partner at the company with 50% ownership and in the 2000s he became full owner of the enterprize7.

A team comprized of distinguished experienced, as well as young specialists5

INBIOTECH was founded and created by distinguished professionals with years of experience in the sphere of Bulgarian and international pharmaceutical science and industry, most of whom had worked with Prof. Angel Kirkov in SBA ‘’Pharmachem’’ and the Scientific Research Chemical-Pharmaceutical Institute (SRCPI)5, 7. One of these specialists was Eng. Petko Petkov, head of overall manufacturing of SBA ‘’Pharmachem’’ during the tenure of Eng. Angel Kirkov5, 7.

12. Contribution & recognition5,7

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Awards, received by Prof. Angel Kirkov and by the team of INBIOTECH from the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA)7.

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Award, received by Prof. Angel Kirkov and the team of INBIOTECH from the National Branch Chamber of Traders - Wholesale Distributors of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Health and Herbal Products7.

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In 2002 Prof. Angel Kirkov personally and on behalf of the team of INBIOTECH received first award in the respective category, the award "Hermes", for successful economic activity of the company7. INBIOTECH, managed by him, was awarded as "Company of the Year" in the annual competition of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and was honoured with the statuette "Hermes" by the President of Bulgaria5, 7.

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Award for Prof. Angel Kirkov and forthe team of INBIOTECH for "Company of the Year", 20027.

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Plaque of Honour for Prof. Angel Kirkov from the teaching faculty in the Pharmaceutical Faculty, Sofia, for remarkable contributions to the Faculty and the students7.

Award for patentable technology for manufacturing of Metamizole sodium

On 5th September, 1969, Prof. Angel Kirkov was awarded with the State award of the Committee for Science and Technical Progress – First Degree (in collective of chemists and pharmacists, headed by him) for the development and implementation of patentable technology for the manufacturing of Analgin (Metamizole sodium) and for the achievement of high technical-economic indicators and effectiveness5, 12. Eng. Angel Kirkov started for the first time in Bulgaria manufacturing of Metamizole sodium in 1969, as first generic for Bulgaria, when he was also General Director of SBA ‘’Pharmachem’’5. Eng. Angel Kirkov, thanks to good personal contact with the Executive Director of "Hoechst" (Pharmaceutical company from Western Germany), succeeded to acquire exclusive rights for sales of the medicinal product in all countries from the Eastern block (incl. Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, USSR and South-East Asia)5.

13. For Angel Kirkov’s personality5

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Bulgarian trade mission to the USA5. Eng. Angel Kirkov is in the middle of the photo5. This was one of the first economic delegations in the history of Bulgaria for creation of trade relationship with the USA5.

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Constant learning

Prof. Angel Kirkov was one of the creators and one of the most active contributors to the modern Bulgarian pharmaceutical industry5.

Chronology of the work activity of Angel Kirkov is rich, but at the same time, much more interesting and significant were the values, which he possessed and developed in his life5. His love of constantly learning especially stood out5. During his whole life he constantly learned practically and academically5. Despite his two academic educations, he always learned from his experience, from the experience of multiple and diverse collectives, with whom he worked, as well as from the work of particular employees specialists5. Angel Kirkov diligently researched the international experience and progress in the global, even at that time, pharmaceutical industry5, 7. He always looked for scientific substantiations in the characteristic nuances of a specific activity, he valued its significance and he implemented all his knowledge and experience for that activity’s prosperity5, 7. He utilized scientific methods and manifested analytical skills during review and solutions to problems18.

14. For Angel Kirkov’s economic and cultural contribution to his homeland - Berkovitsa5

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Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov (right) wasamong the honoray citizens of the town of Berkovitsa, together with Acad. Georgi Bliznakov14.

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Opening of the Town Art Gallery "Father Paisii’’ in the town of Berkovitsa with Prof. Kirkov (right)14.

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Prof. Kirkov financed part of the construction of the "St. St. Peter & Pavel’’ Church of Komarevo, his home village14.

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Prof. Kirkov, personal friend of thewriter Jordan Radichkov, who was also from Berkovitsa, during unveiling of his monument in Sofia14.

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Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov, Chairman of theHomeland Committee for the region of Berkovitsa in Sofia, for celebration of the creativity and deeds of Ivan Vazov14. In the photo he speaks in front of the Sofian Homeland Committee for celebrating 150th-anniversary, since the birth of Ivan Vazov, the patriarch of Bulgarian literature14. The writer spent one year of his life in Berkovitsa5.

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The House-Museum of Ivan Vazov inBerkovitsa, which reconstruction was also sponsored by Prof. Angel Kirkov5.

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Angel Kirkov

Honorary Citizen of Berkovitsa

Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov made significant contribution to the development of the Berkovitsa region5. He was awarded as Honorary Citizen of the town of Berkovitsa, due to his active participation for the economic development of the region5.

Contribution to the cultural development of the Berkovitsa region

Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov had contribution to the cultural development of the town of Berkovitsa5. ‘’Many are the significant things with the active participation of the fellow countryman Angel Kirkov and they will not be forgotten’’14. Frequently asked question by Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov towards fellow countrymen was ‘’What’s new in our homeland?’’. He assisted the development of the museum complex in the town of Berkovitsa14. He also sponsored the ‘’South-West Balkan’’ newspaper14.

Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov supported the preservation of the house of Ivan Vazov in Berkovitsa, where the patriarch of the Bulgarian literature spent one year of his life14. Part of his speech as Chairman of the Homeland Committee for the town of Berkovitsa during the celebration of the 150th anniversary since the birth of the poet was: ‘’Respected countrymen, dear Vazovs, let us all remember and make all remember ’Epic of the Forgotten‘, ’Under the Yoke’, to remember these values, needed also today’’14. Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov was active member of the ‘’Berkovitsa Patriotic Society’’14.

15. Family life5

With his undeniable personal qualities, values and innovative spirit, Prof. Angel Kirkov, during all of his career, was a role model and inspiration for many of his colleagues, students, and above all, family5, 7Angel Kirkov is dedicated, caring and loving husband, father and grandfather5. In mutual love and understanding he lived his active and elderly life5Prof. Angel Kirkov died on 27th February, 2012, at 85 years, while staying active in his work at INBIOTECH up until his last day5, 7. At the moment, his two daughters and one of his grandsons work at INBIOTECH5, 7.

16. For the biographic article for Prof. Angel Kirkov5,7

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For this biography

This biographic article for Prof. Angel Kirkov encompasses his professional path5. This article was written by his family and colleagues with deep love and deep admiration5, 7. Much can be written for him and this article includes only separate aspects of his professional biography5, 7. This biography is based on his stories and the presented documents by his family5.

This biographic article was prepared by the family of Prof. Angel Kirkov and from the team of INBIOTECH, Ltd. The photos used are from the personal archive of the family of Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov, D.M.Sc.. Other of the photos used in the biography are purchased especially with the aim to depict important aspects of the personal and professional path of Prof. Angel Kirkov

From the family & the team

We, the team of INBIOTECH, are deeply grateful to Prof. Angel Kirkov for his good attitude towards us and for the inspiration, with which he illuminates our work even today7. We, the family of Prof. Angel Kirkov are proud with him and love him enormously as loving husband, father and grandfather5.

Share with us

If you know Prof. Angel Kirkov, D.M.Sc., or if you would like to share with us an experience with him, please send us text or/and photos to the following electronic mail: office@inbiotech-bg.com. We will be grateful to you for complementing the biography of his life and professional path.

From the family and team of Prof. Dr. Angel Kirkov, D.M.Sc.

17. References

  1. 33 years Department of „organization and economics of pharmaceutical manufacturing“. Pharmaceutical Faculty of Medical University, Sofia, 2005, pp. 20, 28, 30, 55-56, 97;
  2. Newspaper „Technical Deed“, vol. 36, 6 September, 1969, p. 2;
  3. Newspaper „Health Front“, vol. 42, 17 October, 1981, p. 3;
  4. Angel Kirkov, „Fifty years Bulgarian pharmaceutical industry“; Magazine „Chemistry & Industry“, 1969, № 6, pp. 261-265;
  5. Ivanka Kirkova, Family achive of Prof. Angel Kirkov. Large portion of the family archive for Prof. Angel Kirkov was complemented with his personal conversations with members of his family. Another large portion of this archive includes multiple documents and photo material;
  6. Dr. Angel Kirkv, Habilitation Thesis, ‘’Organization & Economics of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’’, Sofia, 1980;
  7. Dr. Inna Kirkova, Ilka Simova, M.Pharm. Georgi Ruichev, Stefan Stefanov. Archive of INBIOTECH, Ltd. of Prof. Angel Kirkov;
  8. Assoc. Prof. Angel Kirkov, ‘’Medicinal products, needs, medicinal products’ insurance’’. Medicine & Physical Education’’, 1985;
  9. Prof. Angel Kirkov, D.M.Sc., Eng. Petar Filkov, Chief Assistant Tsvetana Boneva, Correspondent of Pharmaceutical Sciences. ‘’Workbook for practical exercises for organization and economics of the pharmaceutical manufacturing’’ for student of Pharmacy" (Second additional and revised edition). Medicine & Physical Education, Sofia, 1989;
  10. Authorship Certificate. Institute for inventions and rationalizations. Sofia, 22 July, 1982;
  11. Certificate. State committee for science and technical progress. Metropolitan People’s Council. Invention of Sofia, 9 April, 1982;
  12. State award. State committee for science and technical progress. Sofia, 5 September, 1969;
  13. Prof. Dr. Chudomir Nachev, Chairman of the Cardiological Clinic of the Department of Propaedeutics of Internal Diseases at Military Medical Academy, Sofia. ‘’ENPRIL – Bulgarian manufacturing, in no way inferior to Western analogs’’. Forum Medicus, vol. 6, 7 February, 1994;
  14. Newspaper ‘’Northwestern Balkan’’, vol. 307, 4 April, 2012;
  15. Chemico-Pharmaceutical Processing Plant, Sofia. 19 July, 1988;
  16. Ministry of Public Health. 18 December, 1987;
  17. Eng. Ivan Again, Director of Scientific-Research Chemico-Pharmaceutical Institute, Sofia. 22 July, 1988;
  18. Reference, SBA ‘’Pharmachem’’ for Eng. Angel Kirkov. 21 May, 1980;
  19. Reference, SBA ‘’Pharmachem’’ for Eng. Angel Kirkov. 23 May, 1980.