Business Development Manager

Geneva, Switzerland

[Closing date: 20 March 2015]

Organization background:

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patient-needs driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for neglected diseases. DNDi‘s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of people suffering from neglected diseases by using an alternative model for developing drugs and by ensuring equitable, affordable access to new and field-relevant health tools.

In this virtual model of R&D, a variety of players from the public and private sectors collaborate with DNDi to research and develop drugs for those neglected diseases that fall outside the scope of market-driven R&D. DNDi’s mission also includes raising awareness of the necessity to build public responsibility and leadership in addressing the needs of these patients.

The virtual nature of the R&D activities of DNDi necessitates building strong partnerships with all of the actors of the pharmaceutical and healthcare R&D landscape, from academia to large pharmaceutical companies, as well as CROs, NGOs, local health authorities, etc. To that end, it is critical to identify, connect, interact with and manage effective and reliable partners capable of contributing substantially to achieving DNDi’s mission and objectives. The role of the Business Development and Legal department (BD/L) of DNDi is to design partnership strategies enabling the implementation of our mission and vision, to support in particular the R&D department in identifying, building and managing partnerships, as well as insuring the best contractual practices so as to minimize operational risks, and secure patients’ access rights to the drugs developed by DNDi.  The BD/L also covers procurement, and this effort is led by our Procurement Officer.

The Business Development Manager will support DNDi in achieving its objectives by managing, in close cooperation with the BD/L and R&D teams, the business development and licensing (BD) efforts for one or more defined disease areas and supporting the BD/L Director in implementing the partnership strategies. This is a broad role, covering everything from negotiating CDAs for discovery purposes to partnership management to negotiating complex collaboration and licensing agreements for pharmaceutical development, manufacturing and commercialization. The applicant must be willing to take a holistic approach and perform all levels of work required to support the BD efforts for the disease area, including administrative tasks, on a small, energetic and leanly resourced team.

Position’s Main Tasks:

  • Management of the BD efforts for one or more specified disease areas:
    • Manage, in coordination with the BD&L and R&D teams, all interactions with portfolio partners related to agreements and contractual matters;
    • Insure timely and efficient communication among the DNDi stakeholders and with partners and facilitate exchanges between external partners and the DNDi project teams;
    • Hold regular updates with partners;
    • Keep track of the activities with partners and work with the BD/L Director and R&D team to identify opportunities for synergies and potential conflicts;
    • Participate in the project team meetings for the disease area(s) and raise matters of BD, legal or procurement interest with the BD/L team
  • Liaise with R&D Project Managers to anticipate support needs from BD/L, prepare BD/L action plans
  • Work with the Procurement Officer to coordinate procurement and BD/L needs and activities
  • Manage the key stakeholders’ preparation for, and conduct of negotiation of, agreements required to support all of the R&D activities for the disease area(s)
  • Identify opportunities fulfilling R&D needs and present them to the R&D team
  • Contribute to building sustainable and healthy relationships with current and prospective partners
  • Represent BD/L in internal DNDi meetings and promote BD/L by making internal presentations on topics of interest and holding workshops
  • Contribute to the overall professional development of the BD/L team by sharing acquired knowledge and expertise
  • Develop a good understanding of the R&D landscape for the disease area, identify existing and potential partners’ capabilities and strengths
  • Monitor partners’ activities and bring forward relevant facts that could impact on relationships
  • Curate and feed DNDi’s databases for BD/L
  • Perform administrative tasks required to support the BD/L activities for the disease area, e.g., obtaining signatures on agreements, arranging internal meetings, preparing meeting minutes and circulating, etc.
  • Participate in external events and meetings relevant to DNDi BD/L activities.

The position reports to the Director of Business Development.

Professional Background:

  • 7+ years of experience in BD in the healthcare sector, past experience in the generic pharmaceutical environment is a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage strategic relationships, including management of the key internal stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare, lead and close complex deals.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects on a long-term basis.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Good ability and willingness to work in teams and drive projects
  • Good ability and willingness to develop expertise in one or more disease areas and the treatment of patients in the endemic countries for these diseases.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Flexibility.


  • Scientific/Law/Commercial  MA, MBA
  • Fluent in French and English, Portuguese and/or Spanish would be a plus

To apply

Please send via email only a letter explaining why you are applying for this post and an up-to-date copy of your CV/resume to

Accepting applications until March 20th 2015

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.