Scangos Heats Up Xconomy’s What’s Hot in Bay Area Biotech Lineup

Xconomy San Francisco — 

To biopharmaceutical companies, FDA approval of a new drug brings the opportunity to sell a product in the biggest pharmaceutical market in the world. But disease knows no borders, and many treatments launched in the U.S. market could also have global applications.

George Scangos says he joined Vir Biotechnology to bring new infectious disease therapies to patients all over the world. Last month, Vir revealed $500 million in financial commitments and a slate of industry and university partnerships that give the San Francisco company a ready pipeline of drug candidates, as well as access to technologies that can be used to discover more compounds.

Scangos has been added as a speaker at Xconomy’s Dec. 6 event: What’s Hot in Bay Area Biotech. The gathering will bring together the region’s life science community to hear about new developments from industry leaders.

Scangos is no stranger to selling drugs in the global market. In his six-year tenure as CEO of Cambridge, MA-based Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB), he oversaw the development, approval, and launch of dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), a multiple sclerosis pill that went on to become a blockbuster seller.

Vir is taking a different approach. The company aims to sell its drugs in the U.S. and Europe. But Scangos says the company plans to use its partnerships to bring new therapies to people around the world. For example, he says, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of Vir’s investors and partners, could make an approved Vir drug available to patients in developing countries. Vir’s disease targets include influenza, HIV, hepatitis B virus, Zika, and Dengue fever.

In addition to Scangos, What’s Hot in Bay Area Biotech speakers include Jeff Bluestone, president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy; Alex de Winter, managing director of GE Ventures; Bob Nelsen, managing director of ARCH Venture Partners; Gabe Otte, CEO of Freenome; Jill Hagenkord, chief medical officer of Color; and Helmy Eltoukhy, CEO of Guardant Health.

We’re expecting a full house for the event at UCSF Mission Bay. Grab a ticket here to secure your spot.

Photo by Vir Biotechnology.