CEO Perspective: A Remarkable Opportunity Michel Vounatsos, on becoming CEO
January 9, 2017
It is a distinct honor to lead a company that has, throughout its history, worked to solve some of the greatest challenges in medicine. I believe that Biogen has a unique opportunity to become the leader in delivering therapies for the most complex, intractable neurological and neurodegenerative diseases; it is the reason I joined the organization, and it is the vision I will seek to execute upon as CEO.
In December, we took another important step in our journey, as Biogen received FDA approval for its treatment of the often fatal genetic disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Developing and receiving approval for the first and only therapy for this devastating disease represents everything we are—and aspire to be—at Biogen. Through the application of cutting-edge science and technology, we can now offer SMA patients and their families meaningful improvements in the quality of their lives. Now there is a treatment where previously none existed.
However, receiving approval in the U.S. is only the beginning. In the immediate future, we will continue our work to secure its approval in markets across the globe in order to bring this breakthrough therapy to patients who need it.
At the same time, we’ll redouble our efforts in multiple sclerosis, as we aim to deliver an unrivaled portfolio of products to more MS patients around the world while simultaneously increasing our understanding of MS disease mechanisms—with the ultimate goal of repairing or reversing nervous system damage.
We intend to be among the first to deliver a disease-modifying therapy for Alzheimer’s and to do the same for Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and neuropathic pain. Success in these pursuits will transform the lives of millions of patients around the world.
And we will continue to pursue and build strong strategic partnerships and external collaborations as we continue to go after new opportunities and expand our pipeline.
By executing effectively on our short-term priorities, we will be positioned to achieve these long-term goals for patients and drive return for those who have invested in us.
As we dedicate ourselves to serving our patients, we will also maintain a commitment to strong corporate citizenship. Our ability to produce and market high-quality biosimilar therapies addresses a very real need to expand access to biological medicines at reduced cost to health care systems worldwide. Our investments in science education and sustainable technology maximize our positive social impact and minimize our toll on the environment. And we will continue to build a diverse, inclusive and welcoming culture across our organization.
Scientific and technological breakthroughs have ushered in an era of unprecedented potential for us to create life-changing therapies for neurologic diseases. Our work is not without risk, but our world-class talent and decades of amassed expertise have positioned us to realize this potential and—most importantly—meet our obligation to the patients who are depending on us.
Michel Vounatsos, Chief Executive Officer