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Executive Director - Search & Evaluation

About the Department

Our Cambridge Innovation Center is an extension of our Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI).  We apply cutting-edge technologies to early R&D projects with the goal of bringing real change to People with Diabetes and Obesity.  Your skills, dedication and ambition will help us change lives for the better. In exchange, we’ll offer you an opportunity to work with extraordinary talent, continuously learn and develop, and drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions.


The team is comprised of collaborative, diverse and passionate people who have a true sense of pride in their work and are committed to helping others grow and develop their careers. You’ll also have a platform to engage with key stakeholders on a global scale throughout the entire pipeline process. And while changing the future of diabetes and obesity treatment is no easy task, we also recognize the importance of an enjoyable workplace, which is why we’ve cultivated a culture of fun, ingenuity and innovation. And our competitive compensation package and support of a healthy work-life balance all add to a best-in-class employee experience. We are changing lives for a living. Are you ready to make a difference?


The Position

Search & Evaluation (S&E) is part of Global R&D Business Development and acts as the primary entry point for external drug and technology opportunities relevant to Novo Nordisk at Global Drug Discovery, Global Technology Research, Global Development and Corporate level. S&E conducts pro-active scouting campaigns to identify relevant R&D opportunities by targeting universities, biotechnology companies and venture capital firms, by means of partnering events, road shows and commissioned meetings or events.


The search for novel therapeutics focuses on our core areas: diabetes, obesity, as well as Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and rare blood and endocrine disorders. Besides our therapeutic areas of interest, S&E supports the identification of cutting-edge enabling technologies within oligonucleotides, protein and peptide engineering and gene editing/therapy.


Working cross-functionally, S&E supports the assessment of such external opportunities all the way to due diligence and contractual negotiation.


The role is a driver for change in executing Novo Nordisk's R&D strategy and business development activities on a global scale.



Although the position is physically based in the US and tethered to Novo Nordisk Research Center in Seattle, WA, it reports globally to the VP of S&E in Novo Nordisk, Denmark.


This position will also leverage an individual’s network, and actively engage with external stakeholders including biotech companies, venture capital firms and pharma communities, to ensure Novo Nordisk becomes the preferred partner within our areas of interest.


The role has no direct or indirect reports.


Essential Functions

  • Serve as a “one of a kind” U S. based search & evaluation emissary who can identify unique opportunities to build and transform Novo Nordisk’s pipeline
  • Secure excellence in building/maintaining professional networks within academic, biotech, venture capital and pharma communities by proactively contacting and meeting with university technology transfer offices, key opinion leaders and university researchers
  • Lead in university- or Novo Nordisk-sponsored events and meetings or participate in external scientific congresses or symposia
  • Meet biotech and pharma companies and participate in biotech/pharma partnering events, or through Incubator visits
  • Meet venture capital (VC) firms and participate in VC conferences and events
  • Scout for and report opportunities through professional networks or literature searches, databases or patent searches within relevant therapy areas, i.e. diabetes, obesity, CVD, CKD, NASH, rare blood/endocrine disorders
  • Lead the evaluation of identified opportunities in close collaboration with Novo Nordisk S&E based in Denmark and other relevant stakeholders based in Denmark
  • Lead the evaluation process according to established procedures and guidelines up to and including due diligence to secure proposed collaborations and licenses for products and technology opportunities
  • Prepare presentation of selected opportunities to relevant governance boards
  • Provide support to Business Development during negotiation of licenses and collaborations in alignment with S&E based in Denmark
  • Brand Novo Nordisk as the preferred partner within relevant therapy areas


Physical Requirements

20% overnight travel required.



  • MD required
  • 20+ years of professional relevant experience required. Consulting experience required, prefer at least 10 years of consulting experience. Relevant experience includes:
    • Proven track record of project management, search and evaluation or an equivalent R&D role
    • Track record of identifying opportunities not previously identified for various therapeutic areas leading to diligence and licensing
    • Proven ability to influence senior management to consider opportunities previously thought to be out of scope. Turn “No” into “Yes” based on factual debate
    • Experienced in understanding the VC mindset for accessing assets and building companies
    • Proven ability to assimilate data from multiple data sources and communicate results in succinct fact-based fashion
    • Proven ability to assimilate data from multiple data sources and communicate results in succinct fact-based fashion
    • Experienced in presenting to senior management and board of directors
    • Understand competitive landscape for each drug and/or therapeutic area
    • Business development and licensing experience covering aspects of pharmaceutical drug discovery and development
  • Established extensive professional network in biotech and VC communities particularly related to metabolic diseases preferred
  • Strong stakeholder management and networking skills
  • Outstanding ability to link science and strategy, as well as communication skills of complex issues
  • Analytical and a good communicator who functions well in a dynamic environment


Novo Nordisk is an Equal Opportunity Employer - M/F/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.


If you are interested in applying to Novo Nordisk and need special assistance or an accommodation to apply, please call us at 1-855-411-5290. This contact is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

Executive Director - Search & Evaluation

Cambridge, MA
Full Time

Published on 10/02/2020