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The company that found a cure for Ebola is working on a treatment for coronavirus

March 20, 2020, 7:20 PM UTC

At its best, business can solve very big problems. Arguably the biggest problem today, worldwide, is the onset and rapid spread of COVID-19. Some executives see an opportunity for innovation to lead the way amid these precarious times. 

George Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer of biotech company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is one such leader. His company announced this week it has developed a promising drug to fight coronavirus, and will begin human trials by early summer. Regeneron has an excellent track record: It created a treatment that drastically reduced the mortality rate in the Ebola virus outbreak that scared the world just a few short years ago. 

Yancopoulos joins the latest episode of Fortune’s new podcast Leadership Next to detail the innovative approach Regeneron is using to create a potential coronavirus treatment. Alan Murray, host of the podcast and Fortune’s president and CEO, calls this “the most encouraging conversation I’ve had in quite awhile.”

Leadership Next focuses on the evolving role of today’s CEO and what that means for the future of business. New episodes are typically released every Tuesday, but a topic this pressing calls for a special edition. 

At around the 22-minute mark Yancopoulos speaks passionately about the collective need across business, industry, health care, and politics to work together for a cure: “We need to encourage the brightest minds to devote their greatest efforts to innovate and invent the solutions to the existential threats facing humanity. … We are fighting for our very survival. Innovation has saved us before, and that’s what we’ve got to focus on again.”

Yancopolous typifies the type of CEOs Leadership Next finds so fascinating. He leads his company toward social good without losing sight of his responsibility to corporate enterprise, noting, “It turns out if you deliver important new drugs to people, the money takes care of itself.”

Listen and subscribe to ‘Leadership Next’ now:

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—This famed economist doesn’t think we’re headed for another Great Recession
—South Korea has the most comprehensive coronavirus data. What it’s taught us so far
—10 questions about the 2020 election during the coronavirus pandemic, answered
—Here’s where Goldman Sachs predicts the stock market will bottom out
—Listen to Leadership Next, a Fortune podcast examining the evolving role of CEO
—WATCH: The greatest designs of modern times

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