Biotechnology icon and business leader George Scangos will be the distinguished keynote speaker for the 115th USC School of Pharmacy Commencement on Friday, May 13.
Named one of the 25 most influential people in biotechnology, Scangos is president and CEO of Vir Biotechnology, Inc., an immunology company focused on cutting-edge technologies and medicines to address the world’s most serious infectious diseases.
“George Scangos has led major innovations and historic advances in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields, with a significant impact on patients around the world,” said Vassilios Papadopoulos, dean of the USC School of Pharmacy, who noted Scangos was originally scheduled to address graduates at the 2020 commencement ceremony, postponed due to the pandemic.
Under Scangos’ leadership, Vir Biotechnology, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline developed sotrovimab, an investigational monoclonal antibody for the early treatment of COVID-19 which was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2021. GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. expect to manufacture approximately 2 million doses globally in the first half of 2022 and additional doses in the second half of the year.
“As the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve around the globe, I look forward to welcoming this influential visionary to address the members of our graduating class of 2022 and our school community,” Papadopoulos added.
Before joining Vir Biotechnology, Inc. in 2017, Scangos was CEO for six years of the global publicly traded biopharmaceutical company Biogen, during which time sales more than doubled, from $4.7 billion in 2010 to $10.8 billion in 2016; he effected a turnaround by restructuring the company, presiding over the rollout of six new drugs including a blockbuster oral multiple sclerosis drug. Previously, Scangos served as president and CEO at Exelixis, Inc., a drug discovery and development company, and as president of Bayer Biotechnology, where he was responsible for research, business development, process development, manufacturing, engineering and quality assurance of Bayer Biotechnology’s biological products. Before joining Bayer Biotechnology in 1987, Scangos was a professor of biology at Johns Hopkins University.
Scangos currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Cornell University and the Board of Overseers of the University of California, San Francisco. Scangos received his B.A. in biology from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts and was a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow in the Yale University laboratory of renowned geneticist Frank Ruddle.
The 115th USC School of Pharmacy Commencement will begin at at 2 pm on Broad Lawn on the USC Health Sciences Campus. Learn more at pharmacyschool.usc.edu/commencement.