Dr. George Scangos: Not just science for science’s sake

Andrew Powaleny
Andrew Powaleny August 10, 2016


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America’s biopharmaceutical researchers are working tirelessly to develop new and innovative medicines for patients. For those diseases that have no treatment options, the opportunity to improve patients’ lives provides daily inspiration to researchers.

In a new video, George Scangos, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Biogen, says it was early in his career when he was researching treatments for children with cystic fibrosis that he fully understood the magnitude of his work.


“That brought home to me how rewarding it could be to do science – not just science for science’s sake, but to actually bring some real benefits to people in the real world who desperately needed help,” Scangos says. “Those patients are fortunate in that they have treatments that are working for them. But there are a lot of patients out there who aren’t so fortunate.”

For people living with those diseases, America’s biopharmaceutical companies are hard at work each and every day to discover new medicines.

Biogen, like several other biopharmaceutical research companies, is particularly focused on neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, a disease where the burdens to patients, their loved ones and health systems are expected to increase enormously if new treatments aren’t discovered.scangos_image_2_cc.jpg

 Today, more than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, costing the health care system an estimated $236 billion a year to treat. These sobering statistics are projected to increase as the number of  people living with the disease is projected to grow to nearly 14 million and the cost to more than $1 trillion by 2050 if no new medicines to prevent, delay or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s are discovered.

Fortunately, today there are more than 70 medicines in development for Alzheimer’s. Although the process has proven to be difficult, with many unsuccessful trials over the years, these setbacks are a critical part of the discovery process.

For Scangos and others working toward new treatments, the ability to see the benefits to patients when medicines are discovered is what keeps them going and continuing to work to improve patients’ health outcomes.

To learn more about the men and women dedicated to bringing new treatments and cures to patients, go to: www.fromhopetocures.org/advancing-science/people-behind-the-science.

Topics: Research and Development, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis