Biogen Idec CEO George Scangos to Receive MassBio’s Innovative Leadership Award

March 25, 2014

Award Recognizes Commitment to Innovation, Growth, and Leadership in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) announced today that George A. Scangos, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Biogen Idec, will be honored at this year’s MassBio Annual Meeting with the Henri A. Termeer Innovative Leadership Award for his significant contributions to the life sciences industry and the growth of the sector here. 

Biogen Idec, which develops therapies in the areas of neurology, autoimmunity, and non-malignant hematology, last year returned its global headquarters to Cambridge, where the company has had a strong presence for more than three decades. The company, which has grown substantiaScangoslly in recent years, now has nearly 3,000 employees in Massachusetts.

“Biogen Idec is a pillar of the Massachusetts life sciences cluster and continues to demonstrate its focus on innovation and to bringing new therapies to patients with unmet needs,” said MassBio President & CEO Robert K. Coughlin. “We thank Dr. Scangos for his steadfast commitment to the region and continually showing what it means to be a leader who works to transform the industry for the good of patients and society.”

The Innovative Leadership Award recognizes an industry executive who has a strong presence and commitment to growth in Massachusetts, actively supports community-based organizations, contributes to science education to prepare the future workforce, and creates a positive work environment that fosters motivation and collaboration. It is named for longtime Genzyme President and CEO, Henri Termeer.

In Dr. Scangos’ tenure, Biogen Idec has turned its business to three core areas of focus, building on its experience in developing therapeutics for multiple sclerosis into a pipeline that includes new product candidates for neurological conditions, such as spinal muscular atrophy and Alzheimer’s disease; autoimmune conditions, including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; and is expected to soon launch two new therapies for hemophilia as it explores new approaches to treating hematologic conditions, including sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia. 

The company anticipates pivotal readouts from its late-stage pipeline and proof-of-concept data on six early- and mid-stage product candidates in the next 18 months. Last year, Biogen Idec launched TECFIDERA, an oral therapy for multiple sclerosis patients, which has been one of the most successful product launches in the history of the biotech industry.    

Biogen Idec has opened 500,000 square feet of new office space in Cambridge in the past year including its new global headquarters in Kendall Square. The company added 400 jobs in the Commonwealth in 2013 with a commitment to creating 300 more jobs this year, making a long-term commitment to the region due to Massachusetts’ business-friendly environment; public sector investment in life sciences; and access to world-class academic institutions and hospitals, infrastructure, talented scientists and researchers, and exciting early-stage companies.

Biogen Idec has alliances and partnerships with key local academic institutions, including Harvard Medical School and the Whitehead Institute, and innovative consortia to advance the understanding of the biology behind diseases such as ALS (Lou Gerhig’s disease). The company also has been recognized for its commitment to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education through both the company and the Biogen Idec Foundation, with a focus on programs that reach the youngest learners all the way up to those who are pursuing careers in the life sciences. These include support for the Biomedical Sciences Career Program, the Biogen Idec Community Lab, Cambridge Science on the Streets, and the Boston Museum of Science.

Dr. Scangos is the sixth person to receive this award. Past recipients include former EMD Serono President & CEO, Fereydoun Firouz; Cubist Pharmaceuticals President & CEO, Michael Bonney; Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company President & CEO, Deborah Dunsire; Vertex CEO, Joshua Boger; and Josef von Rickenbach, Chairman and CEO of PAREXEL International Corporation.

This year’s award presentation will be held at MassBio’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, MA.


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