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Biogen Appoints ALS Innovation Hub VP

August 26, 2014

Johns to lead new unit dedicated to development of novel ALS therapies

Donald R. Johns, M.D., has been named vice president of Biogen Idec’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Innovation Hub (ALS iHub), a new unit dedicated to accelerating the discovery and development of novel ALS therapies, integrating research with clinical development. Dr. Johns reports to Alfred Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., group senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Dr. Johns will lead a group with expertise that spans translational science and technology, neurology research, experimental medicine, clinical development and business development.

He joins the company from Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where he held multiple positions the past 10 years, including vice president and global head of Neuroscience Translational Medicine. At Novartis he was responsible for neuroscience strategy, including the selection of targets and clinical indications, and he oversaw numerous studies. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Johns held positions at the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“We are committed to bringing critical therapies to ALS patients as quickly and efficiently as possible. Don’s experience as a clinician and researcher, his dedication to patients, and his successful track record make him a perfect addition to help us achieve this goal,” said Dr. Sandrock. “Under Don’s leadership, I believe that the ALS iHub model will drive meaningful innovations in ALS discovery and development.”