Biogen CSO Artavanis-Tsakonas heads back to Harvard, lab funding in hand

Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas

Almost exactly four years after being named permanent chief scientific officer at Biogen, Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas has now quietly left the company, according to a report in the Boston Business Journal.

The cell biology specialist has been a professor at Harvard Medical School since 1999. And now he’s headed back with funding from Biogen on new research into neurodegenerative diseases. The big biotech gets an option on licensing new tech from his lab in exchange for the funding, according to the BBJ, which cited Biogen’s proxy statement.

Artavanis-Tsakonas was hired by Doug Williams, the former R&D chief who left to run Codiak BioSciences. He’s the latest to join an exodus of top Biogen execs like Williams, Adam Koppel, CEO George Scangos, Steve Holtzman and others who have departed for new ventures. New CEO Michel Vounatsos, meanwhile, is putting in his own team to run the company as he positions it for the next five years.

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