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Astellas Pharma Director/Senior Director, Search & Evaluation in South San Francisco, California

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at .

This position is ideally based on the West Coast (San Francisco area). Remote work from certain states may be permitted in accordance with Astellas' Responsible Flexibility Guidelines. Candidates interested in remote work are encouraged to apply.

Purpose and Scope:

  • Work collaboratively with the S&E head and team in various business development activities with a focus on identification and assessment of business opportunities which drive the current and future Astellas pipeline.

  • Responsible for contributing to Astellas' BD strategy by working globally as a member of various cross functional teams.

  • Responsible for establishing working relationships and keeping contact with external innovators of interest to rapidly access and progress investments and deals as needed.

  • Responsible for leading the search, evaluation and prioritization of opportunities that align with the Astellas strategy.

  • Work closely with multiple internal stakeholders across the business, including but not limited to, drug discovery and development as well as commercial and strategy groups. The focus of opportunities will be investments and deals ranging from early-stage assets to mergers and acquisitions.

  • Use your leadership and scientific skills and expertise to successfully contribute to the S&E team goals that to raise the profile of Astellas as a partner of choice.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

Establish an appropriate governance to create and discuss BD strategy for cell therapy

  • Align with internal stakeholders (RA, VU, Primary Focus Leads (PFLs), Portfolio Strategy (PS), Research, etc.) to organize appropriate governance to discuss partnering/M&A strategies.

  • Discuss and prioritize standing and incoming BD opportunities and determine recommendation for next steps, such as further evaluation under CDA and/or launch of business development opportunity evaluation with the team.

  • Manage BD priority list of cell therapy and other areas as assigned.

Search and evaluation of Business Development opportunities:

  • Actively search and monitor emerging programs and/or data readouts in seeking potential BD targets, and propose to the cross functional team for cell therapy to take any action.

  • Proactively identifies potential target programs/technologies/companies that fit the strategy for cell therapy 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

  • Conduct initial screening of identified potential opportunities, contact target companies, and obtain non-confidential information for initial review.

  • Propose confidential evaluation as appropriate and, upon endorsement by cross functional team for cell therapy, negotiate a confidential disclosure agreement ("CDA") to be executed.

  • Participate in congresses and partnering conferences to build intelligence network in key areas such as cell therapy, meet target companies and seek for new opportunities.

  • In discussion with relevant internal stakeholders (e.g. PS), conduct preliminary scientific and commercial evaluation for identified opportunities with the cross functional team for cell therapy.

  • Propose initiation of detailed due diligence / BD opportunity evaluation in collaboration with PS.

  • Work to gain access to target companies directly or indirectly (investment banks, consultants, VC, etc.) to obtain non-confidential information for evaluation by internal stakeholders.

  • Manage and expand network with prospective partners and acquisition targets, including good relationship with investment banks and consultants.

Collaboration with other Transaction group members and Innovation Management Group:

  • Be primary contact window for potential partners, along with other Transaction group members.

  • Interacting with potential partners for initial evaluation and business discussions (e.g. partnering scope, timeline etc.).

  • Closely collaborate with Transaction group secretariat group in sharing the review status of non-confidential level opportunities, (e.g. through GOMES and weekly Transaction group call).

  • Works with Transaction manager when evaluation advances to advanced stage (CDA review or BD opportunity evaluation review, depending on the nature and status of the project).

  • Closely collaborates with Innovation Management Group. To share search & evaluation activities of oncology opportunities on a regular basis and collaborate in interaction with target companies where necessary.

Quantitative Dimensions:

  • Have direct impact on Astellas' current and future revenue, costs and profit, i.e. 60% of current global revenue is generated through partnership and past M&A,

  • Contribute to enrich the pipeline in PF/ Modality the person engages

Organizational Context:

Reports to: Executive Director, Head of Search and Evaluation.



  • Bachelor's Degree at minimum; PhD in relevant science is preferred

  • Work experience in biopharma or venture capital industry with at least 12 years, with deep understanding in key value chains relating to BD, such as drug discovery, clinical development, CMC and manufacturing, regulatory and commercial.

  • Demonstrated expertise in major deal negotiation and execution (e.g. M&A, license, divestiture). Typically, 7+ years of BD experience or alike.

  • Thorough knowledge and demonstrated expertise in the biopharma industry. Demonstrated understanding of operations and key organizational interfaces.

  • Sufficient experience and knowledge to comprehend variety of transaction structure and agreements in the biopharma industry.

  • Scientifically savvy to understand emerging science areas such as cell therapy and to identify new opportunities that fit Astellas' interest.

  • Ability to comprehend innovation and emerging science in biopharma industry in connection to corporate strategies (Focus Area strategy and Portfolio strategy).

  • Able to build trust and credibility at senior leaders (Key Stakeholders, PS and BD) and peers

  • Observed ability to multi-task, dealing with information at a variety of levels on a large number of projects which are highly important in realizing Astellas' strategic objectives.

  • Demonstrated strong oral presentation, written communication skills, and negotiation skills in English.

  • Observed strength and expertise in working within matric teams, including cross-cultural teams and of influencing without authority. Should have an understanding of, or experience working with a broad range of functions including commercial, R&D, finance and legal.

  • Interpersonal skills and ability to interact and influence top/senior leadership members internally.

  • Ability to network and accomplish tasks within a multi-disciplinary environment.

  • 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.

  • Travel up to 50% or as needed.


  • Advanced degree (MBA/MS/PharmD/PhD/JD).

  • Knowledge and/or ability to comprehend specific business matters relating to BD projects, e.g. financial model, financial/accounting/tax matters, IP matters, legal/contract matters etc.

  • Experience or knowledge in VC or PE focusing on healthcare.

  • High quality external network in major biopharma companies, biotech companies, consultants and investment banks.


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation and Sick time, plus national holidays including year-end shut down

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program


Category Business Development

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans