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Astellas Pharma Assistant Director, Key Customer, Oncology Marketing (Gastric Cancer) in Northbrook, Illinois

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 an Assistant Director, Oncology Marketing opportunity in the United States.

Purpose & Scope:

The Assistant Director, Key Customer, Gastric Cancer will lead relationships, engagements, peer-to-peer education, and insight mining with Key External Experts (KEEs) including advisory board and speaker program execution in gastric cancer across both oncology and pathology. The successful candidate will be a key member of the US commercial team passionate about preparing for the launch of zolbetuximab. This person is responsible for flawless execution of KEE/thought leader identification and development including advisory board strategy and execution, peer-to-peer speaker program execution, and other key customer engagement. This person will play a leadership role in KEE relationships on behalf of the US oncology franchise working in close collaboration with partners including: insights and analytics, sales, sales leadership, key account management, marketing, franchise leadership, global and others.

Specific responsibilities will evolve based on the needs of the brand and franchise, lifecycle of the brand, and competencies required on specific projects.

Essential Responsibilities:

  1. Build and lead the strategy to identify and prioritize key external experts (KEEs) across both oncology and pathology in partnership with global and medical colleagues.

  2. Build, maintain and execute the US KEE Launch Plan in support of the CDx and zolbetuximab launches including custom engagement plans for all prioritized KEEs. Establish and evolve the Annual KEE Plan for the US gastric cancer brand team.

  3. Create and conduct strategy for and execution of KEE insight generation via commercial advisory boards (including content development), 1:1 engagement, executive encounters, etc. to gain impactful insights. Establish the KEE US Commercial Advisory Council for Gastric Cancer and CDx Biomarker Testing.

  4. Establish process to distill and regularly share insights and recommendations to marketing, sales and cross-functional colleagues to enable the successful development of brand strategy, tactics, and launch plans. Identify new and/or incremental opportunities to drive brand strategies through this work.

  5. Build and lead strategy for peer-to-peer engagement via multiple channels both pre- and post-launch. Develop, secure MLR approval for, and implement speaker decks and other materials in support of peer-to-peer educational programs. Identify, coach and train speakers.

  6. Build metrics to track impact of interactions and effectively communicate quarterly metrics to commercial leadership.

  7. Drive functioning as One Astellas, through partnership with different roles within AST: Ethics and Compliance, Insights and Analytics, Sales/Sales Leadership, GPO, Key Account Management, Marketing, Executives, Global and Medical (as appropriate). Partner with franchise lead and across oncology brands for decision making around systems and processes to support KEE strategy and engagement going forward at Astellas.

  8. Handle outside agencies in the following capacities: project estimate development, time management, and execution of project components including content creation, and assuring consistency with Astellas goals, direction, ethics, and guidelines.

  9. Track and manage detailed budget for responsible tactics.

  10. Additional responsibilities may be assigned as needed.

  11. Ensure all work is completed ethically.

Quantitative Dimensions:

Sales: This position will directly impact sales performance for zolbetuximab (if approved). This position will also indirectly contribute to the sales of other oncology and other franchise brand sales by collaborating across brands to share and demonstrate standard methodologies across Astellas.

A&P Budget: Directly impacted by the efficient use of resources including: handling vendors, negotiation for services both internally and externally and detailed budget management.

Organizational Context:

This individual will report to the Director, Oncology Marketing. This position does not have any direct reports, but will fully develop working relationships with higher level external partners and internal colleagues from other departments (including market research, legal, and regulatory). This role requires frequent contact and collaboration with VP levels and high levels of critical thinking and collaboration for success and will need to be consistently demonstrated through the sharing of ideas that lead to creative solutions.



  • Bachelor's degree

  • 10 plus years of related, proven experience in pharma (marketing, sales, sales training, market research, etc.) with at least 2 years marketing and/or thought-leader management experience

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including potential to build and run presentations for the medical community and senior leadership at Astellas

  • Demonstrated ability to build strong connections with thought leaders, experience in thought leader management and key customer interactions, including compliance considerations

  • Demonstrated ability to create, implement and iterate impactful action plans, tactics and programs with clear and measurable outcomes to the business and the customer

  • Demonstrated ability to be a high level contributor or leader of a project, process or function

  • Self-starter with strong initiative and demonstrated ability to find creative solutions to problems or new opportunities

  • Strong analytical skills to mine insights and distill key takeaways into meaningful insights that can impact development or adjustment of marketing tactics and plans

  • Strong project/event management skills with the ability to manage competing priorities

  • Demonstrated ability to influence peers and partners within and outside the organization

  • Ability to travel up to 50%


  • MBA or other related graduate level degree

  • Knowledge of and recent experience in launching an oncology drug

  • Experience and existing relationships in gastric/GEJ cancer

  • Experience and existing relationships in pathology and companion diagnostics

  • Strong clinical knowledge specific to oncology including CDx, biomarkers, targeted therapies and current trends


Category Marketing

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