The chief executive of infectious disease biotech Vir, George Scangos, has been handed the reins to lead the biotech industry’s battle against the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Scangos is the former CEO of Biogen who now leads a biotech that, in partnership with China’s WuXi Biologics, is looking to help make a treatment for the disease (and also saw its shares shoot up on the news).
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is heading up the government’s response to the coronavirus, but Scangos has been tapped by BIO to help lead its efforts to research therapeutics and diagnostics to stave off the spread of the virus.
“The role is still evolving, but it is clear someone needs to pick up the reins. It is only natural for us here at Vir to take on a leadership role,” Scangos said in an interview with Reuters.
This comes as the first deaths from the disease were registered in the U.S. over the weekend. The country is now stepping up its response to the disease with wider testing, which had been fairly limited over the past two months.