Biogen Idec appoints Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas chief scientific officer

Biogen Idec Inc., the Weston biotechnology company perhaps best known for its multiple sclerosis drugs, said Thursday that Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas has been appointed to the post of chief scientific officer.

Artavanis-Tsakonas had served as interim CSO while on sabbatical from Harvard Medical School, Biogen Idec said in a press release. He will now continue in this role in a permanent capacity and will also lead the company’s research strategy, capabilities, and discovery platforms.

Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas. Photo courtesy of Biogen Idec.

Artavanis-Tsakonas will also continue to serve as a professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School, where he was the founding director of the Developmental and Regenerative Biology graduate program.

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In a statement, Artavanis-Tsakonas said: “It’s a critical time in history for the biopharmaceutical industry where the potential to make a meaningful difference for patients has never been greater. Moreover, we are at a crossroads regarding opportunities for extensive collaborations with academia so that we can together leverage scientific innovation with the industry’s know-how for translation and drug development.”