Head of Business Development, Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: 2 November


Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for Neglected Diseases. (www.dndi.org)

DNDi began working on paediatric HIV in 2012 and on HCV in 2015, and the two programmes were grouped together in the paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative in 2018. For HIV, DNDi aims to develop a new fixed-dose combination for HIV-positive infants and young children to replace existing treatment options that are unpalatable and highly unsuitable for use in resource-limited settings. For HCV, DNDi seeks to foster a public health approach to the disease and expand access to highly effective direct-acting antivirals, including by developing a simple and affordable treatment combination that can be used for all strains of HCV. The paediatric HIV/HCV team is primarily based in Geneva, with growing numbers of team members, consultants, and partners based in South-East Asia, East Africa, Southern Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.


Purpose of the position

The Head of Business Development, Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative supports the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative in achieving its objectives by leading, in close cooperation with the initiative’s R&D and Access teams, the Business Development and licensing (BD) efforts. S/he is responsible for forming strategic partnerships with industry and other relevant organizations to obtain assets and resources for the Initiative’s programmes and managing the resulting strategic alliances to secure sustainability and continuity. This is a broad role, covering preparation of business cases for opportunities, structuring and negotiation of complex collaboration and licensing agreements, and strategic alliance management to preserve and add to the value of DNDi’s industrial partnerships. This position is expected to contribute to DNDi’s global BD activities and works to ensure coherence and alignment on partners strategies and BD across DNDi.


Specific job responsibilities

Business Development general

  • Lead and manage the BD efforts for the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative
  • Lead, in coordination with the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative and BD and Legal teams, all interactions with industrial partners related to agreements and contractual matters, including developing partnering strategy in coordination with the Director of the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative, structuring deals, leading negotiations, and driving deals to completion
  • Lead, in coordination with the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative and BD and Legal teams, the cultivation and management of strategic relationships with external partners and stakeholders (except for advocacy stakeholders) with a view to optimizing their long-term operations and value to the programmes and patients
  • Keep track of the activities with partners and work with the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative to identify opportunities for synergies and potential conflicts
  • Monitor partners’ activities and bring forward relevant facts that could impact on relationships
  • Participate in external events and meetings relevant to DNDi BD activities

Development of BD/partnering strategy

In collaboration with the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative, R&D and Access teams and other stakeholders:

  • Develop strategies for partnering with industry and other relevant organizations to implement the Initiative’s programmes
  • Explore the landscape for opportunities (compounds, R&D capabilities, technologies, other resources, out-licenses) relevant to the initiative, and lead/contribute/coordinate the evaluation thereof, including commercial due diligence and the development of business cases to inform the initiative’s strategy and go/no go decisions

Negotiation and management of partnerships

In conjunction with the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative, R&D and Access teams, and other relevant stakeholders:

  • Lead the preparation of the negotiation strategy for partnership and other key agreements (e.g., collaboration, development, in- and out-license agreements) with industry and other relevant organizations
  • Lead the negotiation of deals and drive them to completion
  • Establish frameworks for managing the resulting partnerships, including roles and responsibilities of internal stakeholders, serve as ombudsman for the relationships, monitor adherence to governance terms and identify, and resolve issues to prevent disputes
  • Coordinate the management of partnerships common to the other DNDi Initiatives with the relevant heads of BD
  • Lead the further or re-negotiation of existing partnership agreements

Participation in the Paediatric HIV/HCV Initiative’s leadership and working groups, DNDi Coherence Committees

  • Participate in weekly initiative leadership team meetings and monthly core team meetings, contribute to the coordinated and holistic development of initiative strategy and action plans
  • Participate in the monthly initiative Access Working Group, contribute to the development of the supply-side of access and implementation plans for initiative products
  • Participate in the DNDi Strategic Partnering Committee, ad hoc in the Access Committee, and to other DNDi Coherence Committees when invited contribute to the substantive deliverables of such committees as determined


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • High ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Very clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgment and problem-solving competencies
  • Excellent communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
  • Knowledge of managing global multicultural teams
  • Highly organized and structured
  • High analytical skills
  • High ability to lead large strategic projects, large size projects with budget management
  • Very strong strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Excellent management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • High ability to exercise high degree of independence to ensure programme delivery and explore new areas of activities
  • High ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders
  • High ability to lead and motivate a team for optimum performance

Business Development technical skills

  • Expertise in pharmaceutical licensing and collaborations, in particular, for R&D, manufacturing and commercialization
  • Expertise in negotiation of agreements typical of the pharmaceutical industry, e.g., in- and out-license, R&D collaboration, technical service, marketing and distribution, etc.
  • Expertise in strategic alliance management, particularly of cross-border, multicultural, multiparty alliances
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare business cases to support decisions on opportunities, including financial and market analyses
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare, structure, negotiate, and close complex deals
  • Demonstrated ability to manage strategic relationships, including internal stakeholder management, adherence to governance, pre-emptive issue resolution and increasing as well as preserving the value of collaborations
  • Excellent knowledge of intellectual property matters as they apply to pharmaceutical licensing, R&D, and commercialization
  • Excellent knowledge of pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing
  • Excellent knowledge of the HIV and HCV disease areas
  • Excellent knowledge of commercialization of pharmaceutical products


  • Over 12 years of experience in BD in the life sciences sector, past experience in the generic pharmaceutical environment is a plus
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Experience with working in public and private sector is highly desirable
  • Proven track record in preparing business cases, structuring, preparing, negotiating and driving pharma deals to completion
  • Proven track record in strategic alliance management of pharmaceutical licensing and R&D collaborations


  • Scientific/Law or Commercial Degree (MA, MBA)
  • Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level

Other requirements

  • Fluency in English
  • Proficiency in local partners’ languages desirable
  • Willingness and ability to travel globally
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Suite


Reporting line

  • S/he reports to the Director Paediatric HIV/HCV


Other information

  • Status: full time – permanent role


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 2 November 2018
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted