Ep. 114: Collaborating to Beat COVID: A Conversation with Leaders from Health and Bioscience

Conversations with Mike Milken

Dec 2020

38 min 24 sec

Sir Andrew Witty President, UnitedHealth Group; CEO, Optum; Co-Leader, COVID-19 Vaccine Development, World Health Organization George Yancopoulos President and Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron Esther Krofah Executive Director, FasterCures

“Are we willing to do for life sciences and global defense what we were willing to do for the financial environment in the 2008 financial crisis? Because if you compare the trillions of dollars committed to stabilize the financial systems to the billions of dollars which are being committed to stabilize the health system, they don't compare. They really don't.” – Sir Andrew Witty In a special episode, three of biotech’s most valuable players convene for a wide-ranging conversation about the pandemic. The consensus among Sir Andrew Witty (UnitedHealth, Optum and WHO), Esther Krofah (FasterCures) George Yancopoulos (Regeneron) is that getting future pandemics under control will require cross-sector collaboration and investment to build on current successful strategies. “It's not what we did in the last six months, or the last nine months that will have led to saving us from the pandemic,” George Yancopoulos tells Mike. “If we can successfully complete these efforts that we've undertaken, it will have been the decades of investments in science, technology and platforms that put us in a position to respond, and we can certainly do better as a society being better prepared.”

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