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Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours 2022: AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot is knighted after leadership during pandemic

AstraZeneca’s chief executive officer Pascal Soriot has said he is humbled to have been knighted in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours 2022 for services to UK life sciences and leadership in the global response to the Covid pandemic.

The biopharmaceutical company, which has now officially opened its £1billion R&D site, the Discovery Centre, on Cambridge Biomedical Campus, helped change the course of the pandemic.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of AstraZeneca
Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of AstraZeneca

It made its Covid-19 vaccine, created at Oxford University, available at no profit at the outset of the pandemic and since then has delivered the majority of doses since at cost. Three billion doses have been delivered to more than 180 countries, with two-thirds to low and middle-income countries.

Sir Pascal said: “I am truly humbled by this recognition. Growing up in France, I had many dreams and hopes for the future, but I never thought I would receive a knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen. As an Australian citizen it is a great privilege to receive this award and an honour to work with so many outstanding people around the world dedicated to following the science in order to bring medicines to patients. This recognition is also theirs and I would like to thank each of them for their commitment to our mission. I am also grateful to my family for their support in enabling me to pursue a career doing what I love.”

AstraZeneca has also created Evusheld, a long-acting antibody combination designed to protect the most vulnerable people who are immuno-compromised and do not develop a response to Covid-19 vaccination.

Pascal Soriot and Prince Charles at the opening of AstraZeneca’s Discovery Centre in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Pascal Soriot and Prince Charles at the opening of AstraZeneca’s Discovery Centre in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Leif Johansson, AstraZeneca chair, said: “I am delighted for Pascal, his family, and all those at AstraZeneca with this recognition of his remarkable contribution to UK life sciences and response to the pandemic.

“His personal dedication to drive advances for patients, to establish AstraZeneca as a leading scientific company, and to develop the people who work alongside him, make this a fitting honour. I know all of the team will join me and many others in the UK, and around the world, in congratulating Pascal on this well-deserved honour as we also celebrate Her Majesty’s historic jubilee this year.”

AstraZeneca’s Discovery Centre in Cambridge
AstraZeneca’s Discovery Centre in Cambridge

Sir Pascal has helped turn around the fortunes of AstraZeneca since joining it a decade ago, and has medicines for a wide range of diseases, from cancer to respiratory conditions.

It now has the second largest market capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange, with its share price quadrupled over the last 10 years.

Sir Pascal is also championing the Health Systems Taskforce of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, established by the Prince of Wales to accelerate the delivery of net zero, sustainable healthcare.

AstraZeneca has an Ambition Zero Carbon commitment to be zero carbon by 2025.

Sir Pascal is also joint-chair of the UK Life Sciences Council, which brings together ministers and industry with the primary goal of ensuring the UK continues to be a global leader in life sciences.

AstraZeneca’s Mene Pangalos was knighted in the 2020 New Year Honours, while eight of its staff were honoured for their Covid-19 work in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Two of its employees were made OBEs in the 2022 New Year Honours.

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