Director, Neuroscience Search & Evaluation

Lake County, Illinois
Jul 01, 2022
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
  • Description - External

    The Search and Evaluation (S&E) group is part of the Corporate Strategy Office and actively supports global Business Development (BD) goals by sourcing and assessing external partnering opportunities that are aligned with Abbvie’s R&D and BD Strategies.  The S&E team interacts with biotech and biopharma companies, academic institutions, venture firms, and other stakeholders from the life sciences industry ecosystem, for exploration of potential opportunities to collaborate, in-license, out-license, invest into- or acquire assets and technologies. The S&E group is responsible for leading the global search efforts for assets of high strategic value across the entire spectrum, from early-stage R&D alliances to the evaluation of programs that are in late-stage development or marketed. S&E is responsible for conducting all scientific/technical due diligence to ensure an in-depth understanding of the science behind each of these opportunities.  Neuroscience represents one of AbbVie’s strategic therapeutic area pillars with emphasis on disease areas spanning neurodegeneration, psychiatry, migraine, movement disorders etc.  The Director, Search & Evaluation will be a key member of the Neuroscience S&E team responsible for scientific assessemnt, coordinating due diligence and presenting assessments of individual partnering opportunities to Neuroscience franchise leadership and senior governance committees as well as contributing to Neuroscience BD strategy initiatives.  This is a very attractive opportunity for an experienced biotech or pharmaceutical industry professional who enjoys a high-energy, entrepreneurial environment, and a highly visible role that offers a chance to make significant contributions towards AbbVie’s business development goals and to reinforcing AbbVie’s role as an innovative organization in the Neuroscience space.

    Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Proactively search for, identify, and evaluate potential opportunities (R&D collaboration, in-licensing preclinical and clinical assets, platform technologies and research tools) that are consistent with external BD strategies for the advancement of AbbVie’s Neuroscience pipeline.  Evaluate external opportunities for scientific merit and feasibility.
  • Lead the assessment of opportunities (in conjunction with the R&D Therapeutic Area Steering Committee, subject matter experts, Business Development and Acquisitions (BD&A), AbbVie Ventures, Commercial functions etc. including: (1) managing the interactions with external parties; (2) overseeing the scientific evaluation process and timelines; (3) developing timely recommendations and proposals for senior management.
  • Lead the due diligence efforts (in conjunction with the TA Leadership and Functional area SMEs) for advanced opportunities, prepare initial technical documents and present to the senior leadership team.
  • In partnership with the transaction teams (Technology Licensing and Collaborations/BD&A/ AbbVie Ventures) develop appropriate deal structures, risk mitigation and negotiating strategies and ensure alignment with Neuroscience franchise objectives.
  • Communicate status of ongoing deals to key internal stakeholders on a timely basis, including preparation of opportunity assessments and summaries for executive-level audiences.  Deliver oral and written presentations to senior management to seek approval for new opportunities.
  • Build the AbbVie brand via participation and presenting AbbVie’s Vision & Mission at key scientific and industry forums. Network with external parties to ensure awareness of AbbVie key capabilities and BD objectives.
  • Facilitate and maintain opportunity identification and assessment processes to move projects forward in the most efficient and effective manner and provide recommendations for declining/deprioritizing effectively.
  • Facilitate creation of institutional memory for opportunities by providing clear, concise assessments and recommendations for future reference. Fully leverage new and existing external and internal opportunity management tools to support the operations of the growing S&E group as it relates to tracking incoming opportunities.
  • Lead/contribute to efforts for creating evergreen external BD strategies aligned to AbbVie’s Neuroscience TA strategy and portfolio goals.
  • Lead/contribute to efforts for business process improvement initiatives through R&D organization and BD teams in line with the current industry standards.

  • Basic:

  • PhD, MD, MD/PhD in a Life Sciences, with emphasis on Neuroscience.
  • 8+ years of relevant industry experience required, of which a minimum of 2 years is in S&E, BD, venture capital, technology transfer, or other partnering-focused professional experience.
  • Practical experience in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry of at least five years in at least one major area of drug development, such as Discovery, Preclinical Development, Clinical Development, or Regulatory Affairs.  Must possess solid foundation of generally accepted BD practices, including familiarity with term sheet and deal structures customary in the industry, valuation methods, forecasting, negotiation, and project management for BD.
  • Demonstrated project management/leadership skills to lead/manage cross-functional teams in evaluating target opportunities partnering opportunities and producing high quality assessments of scientific and therapeutic hypotheses, as well as preclinical and clinical data.
  • Ability to drive projects to deliver timely results and follow through on internal and external commitments.
  • Strong communication skills to effectively communicate business strategies and capabilities internally and externally, present individual and team recommendations clearly and concisely, and foster cross-functional consensus-building.
  • Strong people leadership and interpersonal skills and demonstrated negotiation and influencing skills with diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong existing network and networking skills to reach out to a broad range of decision makers to keep abreast of emerging opportunities.
  • Strong business acumen and ability to drive well-informed, fact-based decision making.
  • Key AbbVie Competencies:

  • Builds strong relationships with peers cross functionally and with partners outside of the team to enable higher performance.
  • Learns fast, grasps the “essence” and can change the course quickly where indicated.
  • Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status