Director Scouting & Strategy, Business Development | Astellas

Job Description

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 a Director of Scouting & Strategy, Business Development on the west coast.

Purpose & Scope:

  • Assist Transaction group leader (TxGL) in effective business process management and team collaboration
  • Responsible for contributing to cell therapy BD strategy through the global cross functional team
  • Accountable for pro-actively search, identify and assess BD opportunities, which fit into the cell therapy driven strategy
  • Responsible for keeping contact with external companies of interest to follow their progress
  • Responsible for leading non confidential evaluation and prioritize the opportunity to align with the strategy.
  • Responsible to establish an appropriate governance to create and discuss BD strategy for cell therapy and lead the cross functional team discussion about scouting strategy under the governance
  • Provide internal stakeholders, such as M&D, DDR, Portfolio Strategy(PS) and regional commercials with knowledge, expertize and resource, where necessary, of scouting and strategy.
  • Support to develop Transaction group’s organizational skills and capabilities in order to raise and preserve 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 (Primary Focus Leads (PFLs), Portfolio Strategy (PS), DDR etc.) to organize appropriate governance to discuss scouting/partnering/M&A strategy for cell therapy.
  • 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

Search and scouting 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, make contact with 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 by BD Transaction GL or delegate.
  • Participate in congresses and partnering conferences to build intelligence network in 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: Ex.Dir, Head of Transaction Group.



  • Bachelor’s Degree at minimum.
  • Work experience in biopharma industry at least 10 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 in 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-cultural 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.


  • 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.

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Please apply here:

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