Director of Business Development and Alliance Management

Geneva, Switzerland 
[Closing date: 10 January 2020


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 (

DNDi has been set up in 2003 to develop treatments for neglected patients and improve the landscape of Global Health R&D. With the intent to stay lean, agile, and avoid replicating activities when others can effectively contribute to the overall objectives, DNDi is all about partnerships.

Its team of approximately 240 people establish strategies and coordinate programmes with suppliers and partners across disease areas, continents, and activities. DNDi engages in the full spectrum of drug development activities, including discovery, research, pre-clinical and clinical development, pharmaceutical development, manufacturing, and commercialization.

DNDi is not willing to capture value for itself but, rather, intends to engage all relevant partners in the interest of the patient. DNDi is operating upon a not for profit model delinking price of treatments from R&D costs. Its resources come from public and philanthropic money and aim at sustainably delivering treatments at the lowest possible price for the patients.

Eventually, DNDi aims at piloting new models of drug development that contribute to shaping sustainable innovation for global health and effective access to treatments for patients in need.

After 15 years of operations and partnerships, DNDi is now recognized as a trusted partner in the field of neglected diseases and has established fruitful relationships with most pharmaceutical companies, relevant academic centers of excellence, public health partners, public and private donors.

In its last released business plan, DNDi has opened new perspectives for the organization with the objective to address new challenges for neglected patients (in areas such as hepatitis C, antimicrobial resistance, most neglected diseases like mycetoma), and has developed a portfolio of operating models from resource intensive full R&D activities to advisory services.


Purpose of the position

The Director of Business Development and Alliance Management main purpose is to develop strategies to source opportunities and suppliers, in alignment with our programmes and R&D strategy, in conjunction with the R&D teams, DNDi’s Regional Offices, and other stakeholders.

The position will assume overall accountability over the management of strategic partnerships, of business development (BD) projects, delivery of BD deals, and coordination of BD activities, with a direct responsibility for HIV-Hepatitis C Initiative. The future incumbent will contribute shaping DNDi model through engineering of innovative partnering schemes and the development/update of key policies (partnering, intellectual property, PRV, etc.)

Leading negotiations as appropriate and engaging partners to create “value for patients” and leverage resources of DNDi donors will be his/her main focus. The position contributes as well to building access-related partnerships (e.g. manufacturing, pricing models) and ensuring consistency in the management of key partners & suppliers across disease areas, teams, and regions.

An important area is the oversight of the overall Alliance Management practice and process, training, and aligning a network of Alliance Managers in all regions around common processes and best practices.

In regards to management responsibilities, the Director of Business Development and Alliance Management will lead a team of three BD dedicated members (including a Head of Business Development, NTD and Alliance Management) and two staff responsible for Procurement, and work with the Regional Offices to develop their local business development and procurement capabilities.

The Director of Business Development and Alliances reports to the Strategy and Operations Director with secondary reporting lines to the Director of HIV-Hepatitic C Initiative and the R&D Director, is part of the extended Executive Team, and works very closely with the R&D and Initiative teams, Operations colleagues, External Affairs, and the Regional Offices.


Specific job responsibilities

Development of partnering strategies for Initiatives and R&D

  • Collaborate with the Directors and Heads of the Initiatives, R&D department, Regional Offices, and other stakeholders to elaborate partnering strategies for supporting the development of the disease area portfolios, with a direct responsibility for the HIV-Hepatitis C Initiative (programme).
  • Explore the landscape (public and private sector) for opportunities (compounds, R&D capabilities, technologies other resources) relevant to DNDi’s business plan at global, disease area, and regional levels
  • Develop a network of contacts among relevant stakeholders, including industry, academia, NGOs, and governments, in particular in the endemic countries. Represent DNDi in appropriate events (conferences, business fairs, etc.)
  • Lead the development of “business cases” to support strategic/partnership decisions

Prepare, structure, negotiate BD deals, and manage R&D partnerships with a direct responsibility for the HIV-Hepatitis C Initiative

  • Lead or manage, as appropriate, the analysis, structuring, preparation, and negotiation of deals, in conjunction with the BD and Legal teams and key internal and external stakeholders
  • Support the Initiatives as well as the R&D Transversal teams in the business development activities
  • Implement and monitor DNDi policies in our agreements and partnerships, including our policies on IP, Anti-Fraud, Conflict of Interest and Publication, to insure the most favourable accessibility and affordability conditions
  • Manage potential licensing-out or tech transfer opportunities

Develop Alliance Management/Key partner relationship programme across DNDi

  • Establish and, as appropriate, lead or monitor frameworks for management of strategic partnerships, in conjunction with the key stakeholders
  • Assess/learn experience from DNDi partnerships and document partnering models
  • Empower an Alliance Management practice within the BD, Procurement, and Alliances team to develop an Alliance Management culture, network, and processes across the organization, develop best practices and grow partnership management skills among leaders

Oversee procurement activities

  • Defines procurement strategies that are aligned with DNDi’s mission and values, and proposes due diligence processes for selection of partners and suppliers
  • Oversee and manage the Procurement team in the implementation of DNDi’s Procurement Policy, including the management of the competitive bid process, selection of strategic suppliers, and negotiation of definitive agreements
  • Work with the Regional Offices to develop local legal and procurement capacities and implement relevant policies

Support access and fundraising

  • In collaboration with the members of the Initiative and R&D teams, provide guidance on downstream operations (manufacturing, commercialization and distribution) to facilitate access
  • Secure the implementation of global and affordable access of health tools developed by DNDi for patients through adequate and strong partnership agreements
  • Support the Advocacy and Fundraising teams in the range of their activities, including preparation of position papers, pitch to prospective donors, grant applications, and funding contracts

Manage the BD & Licensing & Procurement department

  • Develop the annual action plan for the BD and Procurement team. Develop partnering and sourcing plan for the year and organize allocation of work and reporting among the team accordingly.
  • Organize allocation of work and reporting among its direct reports accordingly
  • Directly supervise and mentors BD and Procurement managers and support their individual development
  • Work with the Regional Offices to build up/strengthen local BD capabilities and functionally supervise BD in regions
  • Organizes in the monthly Strategic BD meeting
  • Actively contribute to Strategy and Operations and Extended Executive Leadership meetings.
  • Report on a regular basis on partnerships, opportunities and risks


Reporting line

  • S/he reports to the Operations & Strategy Director
  • The Director of HIV-Hepatitis C Initiative and the R&D Director act as contributing manager


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Excellent 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
  • Knowledge of managing global multicultural teams
  • Highly organized and structured
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Excellent ability to lead strategic programs
  • Excellent ability to manage large size programs with budget management
  • Excellent strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Excellent management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Excellent ability to exercise high degree of independence to ensure programme delivery and explore new areas of activities
  • Excellent ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders
  • Excellent communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
  • Excellent communication, and public speaking skills, ability to convince and represent DNDi at high level events
  • Excellent ability to lead and motivate a team for optimum performance

R&D technical skills

  • Excellent knowledge of Drug Discovery/Development
  • Excellent knowledge of Clinical Research/Development
  • Excellent knowledge of Regulatory (GCP, GLP and GMP)
  • Excellent knowledge of Disease/academia knowledge


  • Minimum 15 years’ relevant experience including several at senior management level
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure is critical
  • Experience building and leading teams in a start up environment


  • Master degree or Ph.D

Other requirements

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


Other information

  • Status: full time – permanent role


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 10 January 2020
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted 
  • Application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants