Business Development Director - Oncology

Astellas Pharma US   •  

Northbrook, IL

8 - 10 years

Posted 240 days ago

This job is no longer available.


Developing innovative therapies is one of the most challenging, most essential and personally rewarding fields in science. This is the most exciting time to be a part of Astellas, a company with a uniquely collaborative and patient-focused culture.


There's something special about working at Astellas. It's reflected in our focus on the people we serve, the way we treat each other and the results we achieve together as a company.


Astellas is announcing Director, Business Development Oncology opportunity in Northbrook, IL.


Purpose of the Position

  • Responsible for contributing to the global Oncology business development strategy through the global oncology strategy team, OncSTAR.
  • Accountable for leading the cross-functional BD sub-team of OncSTAR
  • Accountable for pro-actively search, identify and assess BD opportunities, which fit into the OncSTAR strategy
  • Responsible for keeping contact with external companies of interest to follow their progress

Core Tasks, Responsibilities & Authority

  • Work with the members of OncSTAR to define the Global Oncology business development strategy, and propose necessary changes, as business evolves
  • Search and identify new business development opportunities in Oncology:
  • Proactively identifies potential target programs/technologies/companies that fit OncSTAR strategy and its priority
  • Builds strong relationship and partnership with potential target companies to better understand the evolution of their technology, and make Astellas ready for strategic steps early
  • Conduct initial screening of identified potential opportunities, make contact with target companies, and obtain non-confidential information for initial review.
  • Propose confidential evaluation as appropriate and, upon endorsement by OncSTAR member(s), negotiate a confidential disclosure agreement ("CDA") to be executed by Head of Transaction Execution Group (TxGL).
  • Participate in major oncology congresses and partnering conferences to build intelligence network in Oncology area, meet target companies including coordination of meetings by OncSTAR members (e.g. at ASCO, JP Morgan Healthcare Conference etc.) and seek for new opportunities.
  • In discussion with relevant internal stakeholders (e.g. PPS -- Product & Portfolio Strategy), conduct preliminary scientific and commercial evaluation for identified opportunities with the OncSTAR BD sub-team.
  • Propose initiation of detailed due diligence / Project Evaluation System in Astellas Pharma for Licensing Deal (PESAP-LD) to OncSTAR members in collaboration with PPS.

Lead OncSTAR BD sub-team:

  • Co-lead the activities of the OncSTAR BD sub-team along with PPS lead and chair its regular meetings, with representatives from Drug Discovery Research (DDR), Development, Marketing Strategy, and PPS, regulatory, manufacturing, IP and others.
  • Discuss and prioritize standing and incoming BD opportunities and determine recommendation for next steps, such as further evaluation under CDA and/or launch of PESAP-LD evaluation
  • Actively search and monitor emerging programs and/or data readouts in seeking potential BD targets, and propose OncSTAR BD sub-team to take any action.
  • Consult and report the evaluation results with OncSTAR to agree the next steps.
  • Base on above responsibilities, have an operational responsibility in management of BD priority list of OncSTAR (wish list).

Collaboration with other TxG members and Innovation Management Group at I&I Lab.:

  • Work as integral part of TxG in the following areas.
  • Be primary contact window for potential partners, along with other TxG members.
  • Interacting with potential partners for initial evaluation and business discussions (e.g. partnering scope, timeline etc.).
  • Closely collaborate with TxG secretariat group in sharing the review status of non-confidential level opportunities, (e.g. through GOMES and weekly TxG call).
  • Works with Tx manager when evaluation advances to advanced stage (CDA review or PESAP-LD review, depending on the nature and status of the project).
  • Works with Tx member in development of collaboration terms (e.g. non-binding term sheet) and internal authorization materials (PPS review meeting material, proposal for SWIFT (Speedy, yet Well-Informed, Flexible decision-making by Top management) approval, EC etc.)
  • Participate F2F business discussion and term sheet/contract negotiation along with Tx member
  • Closely collaborates with Innovation Management Group at Innovation & Incubation Labs (I&I lab.) To share search & evaluation activities of oncology opportunities on a regular basis and collaborate in interaction with target companies where necessary.

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Lead a multi-disciplinary evaluation by OncSTAR BD sub-team.
  • Ensure close interaction with OncSTAR nucleus, its BD sub-team members and TxG with in interactions and evaluation of BD opportunities to achieve swift and robust assessment.

Specific Physical/Mental Demands

  • Frequent travel to major scientific conferences (ASCO, ESMO, AACR etc.) and partnering events (BIO, JP Morgan etc.).
  • Occasional travel for the meetings with potential partners for evaluation and business discussions (majorities are US based biotech companies).
  • Able to work under pressure, e.g. rigid evaluation timeline, competitive partnering process etc.

Specific Environmental Factors

  • Based in Northbrook, IL



  • Able to influence/convince at all levels without formal functional power.
  • Able to build trust and credibility at senior leaders (OncSTAR, PPS and BD) and peers (BD sub-team)
  • Proactive/outgoing to take approach to target companies.
  • Able to represent Astellas as an attractive partner in interaction with target companies to gain access to information of target asset and discuss partnering scope etc.


  • Able to comprehend higher (OncSTAR) strategy and suggest practical solution
  • Well-developed analytical skills
  • Able to absorb new concepts quickly and apply generic analytical skills to new situations.

Planning and Organizing

  • Able to manage evaluation process with multiple contributors/stakeholders and inputs.
  • Able to manage high priority task within limited timeline.
  • Able to manage multiple projects with high strategic impact in parallel.


  • Able to lead and coordinate small cross-functional team.
  • Self-starter, able to initiate, drive and shape projects and initiatives.


Experience and Knowledge Requirements

  • Minimum 8-10 years' experience in relevant functions of pharma industry (business development, transactions, external innovation), must have work experience relevant to Oncology.
  • Education: BS or MSrequired. PhD preferred but not essential.
  • Scientifically savvy to understand emerging science in oncology and to identify new opportunities that fit Astellas' interest.
  • Knowledge of BD process and dynamics in general, including various partnering structures, life-cycle of biotech companies and various players involved (Venture Capital, Private Equity, Investment Bank, etc.)
  • Knowledge/experience of running financial models and elaborate the outcome in a concise and effective manner.
  • Experience in working with cross-functional teams and corporate matrix organizations