Vir Biotech appoint “renowned scientist” to CSO position

pharmafile | November 30, 2017 | Appointment | Business Services, Manufacturing and Production, Medical Communications, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Vir Biotechnology, biotech, drugs, pharma, pharmaceutical 

Vir Biotechnology, a developer of treatments that induce protective and therapeutics immune responses, has hired a CSO with a strong reputation in the field of immunology, Herbert W. “Skip” Virgin. The appointment adds to an already impressive looking leadership at the biotech, with George Scangos, formerly CEO of Biogen and Exelixis, holding the CEO position, and Alpna Seth, a former SVP and colleague of Scangos at Biogen, as COO.

Skip joins the company after an illustrious academic career that includes work that led to the first discovery of the murine norovirus and the first culture of a norovirus; his work also included conducting sequencing-based studies to make progress in the investigation of AIDS, inflammatory bowel diseases and type 1 diabetes.

Skip had previously worked as Mallickrodt Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology & Immunology, as position held since 2006 at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science.

“Skip is an internationally renowned scientist and leader who has made major contributions to the field of immunology and infectious diseases,” said Scangos. “His vision and passion for science will be invaluable to Vir as we pursue our mission of transforming the care of people with serious infectious diseases. We are fortunate that he has decided to join us, and on a personal note, I am looking forward to working with Skip and the rest of the management team to bring important new medicines to patients around the world who suffer from serious infectious diseases.”

Scangos emerged as the CEO of Vir Biotech at the beginning of the year; it was also revealed that confidence in the company’s leadership and approach meant that $500 million had already been invested in the first round of investment.

To date, the biotech has sealed a large number of partnership deals with companies, such as Alnylam, and universities, such as Stanford – with the impression that the biotech sees this as its direction to forge a path in the infectious disease area.

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