Biogen Idec has appointed Donald R. Johns, MD, as vice president to lead Biogen Idec’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Innovation Hub (ALS iHub). The ALS iHub is a new, cohesive unit dedicated to accelerating the discovery and development of novel therapies for ALS by integrating research with clinical development. Dr. Johns reports directly to Alfred Sandrock, MD, PhD, group senior vice president and chief medical officer.
In his role, Dr. Johns leads a group with expertise and skill sets that span translational science and technology, neurology research, experimental medicine, clinical development, and business development. The ALS iHub seeks to create a new model for developing ALS therapies by incorporating the latest science, technology and advances in clinical trial design.
Dr. Johns has spent more than 30 years researching and developing medicines for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. He has contributed to several successful new drug applications and has 14 patents in his name that are either issued or pending. He joins Biogen Idec from the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where he held multiple positions over the past decade, including vice president and global head of Neuroscience Translational Medicine. While at Novartis, he was responsible for neuroscience strategy, including the selection of targets and clinical indications, and he oversaw numerous first-in-human studies and proof-of-concept studies. Prior to working at Novartis, he held positions at the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He has also held teaching roles at Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Johns graduated from Yale University School of Medicine in 1983. He completed residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital and become board certified in Neurology in 1989.
Source: Biogen Idec