CEO, Vir Biotechnology
Dr. De Backer has been a strategist, scientist, business leader, deal maker and corporate investor in the healthcare industry for more than two decades. She has been directly accountable for more than 200 strategic alliances in healthcare, some of which have led to newly approved medicines now available to patients. Dr. De Backer is currently chief business officer and executive vice president, Strategy and Business Development and Licensing, at Bayer AG, and a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Bayer in 2019, she spent more than 20 years at the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. She started as a scientist and scientific group leader, during which time her work resulted in multiple patents. She progressed through commercial positions internationally, including leading a sales and marketing business unit responsible for several therapies, culminating as senior vice president, M&A Operations, Divestitures and Janssen Business Development. She currently serves on the boards of directors of the Gladstone Foundation and Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. Dr. De Backer holds an M.S. in molecular biology from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, an M.S. in engineering and biochemistry and a Ph.D. in biotechnology from the University of Ghent, and an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University.