Dr. Danos will lead the company's gene therapy research group, a team dedicated to identifying and developing new technologies for gene transfer and genome engineering. As part of his role, Dr. Danos will also identify potential collaborations that complement the company's internal capabilities and support the development of treatments across Biogen Idec's therapeutic focus areas.
"Olivier is a true pioneer in the field. We believe that his expertise will help accelerate our development of a world-class gene therapy platform that combines our growing internal capabilities with collaborations with leading research organizations across the globe," said Dr. Williams. "Our commitment to this important area will complement our existing capabilities in antisense, small molecule and biologics research, and enhance our ability to effectively and efficiently develop new treatments for people with serious diseases."
"I have dedicated my career to advancing the use of gene therapy as a technology to develop life-saving therapies for patients," said Dr. Danos. "The team at Biogen Idec shares this passion. It is their commitment to innovative science and willingness to tackle difficult medical challenges that attracted me to the company. I am excited about the opportunities before us."
Dr. Danos joins Biogen Idec from Kadmon Pharmaceuticals, where he served as senior vice president, Molecular Medicine, Synthetic Biology and Gene Regulation since 2011. In this role, he was instrumental in assembling a gene therapy program and a technology platform for the development of controllable gene expression systems. Prior to Kadmon, Dr. Danos acted as the director of the Gene Therapy Consortium of the University College of London and led a gene therapy research team at the Necker Hospital – Enfants Malades in Paris.
Dr. Danos also served as chief scientific officer at Genethon and senior director of research at Somatix Therapy Corporation. He has held several senior roles at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Dr. Danos is the former president and a founding member of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.
Dr. Danos received a Master's in Genetics and Molecular Biology at University of Paris Orsay, and his Ph.D. in Biology at the Pasteur Institute and University of Paris Diderot.
About Biogen Idec
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen Idec discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hematologic conditions and autoimmune disorders. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is the world's oldest independent biotechnology company and patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis and innovative hemophilia therapies. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the Company, please visit www.biogenidec.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to our research and development efforts in gene therapy. These statements may be identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "may," "plan," "potential," "will" and similar expressions, and are based on current beliefs and expectations. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements, including risks and uncertainties associated with drug development and commercialization, the development and acceptance of therapies with new technologies, as well as other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Risk Factors section of our most recent annual or quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.