Posted to MedZilla on 5/20/2018

Takeda Pharmaceuticals

US-MA, Portfolio Leader in GI Motility/Liver Drug Discovery; Senior Director, GI DDU R0000333-MZ


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Job Description

Are you looking for a patient-focused company that will inspire you and support your career? If so, be empowered to take charge of your future at Takeda. Join us as a Portfolio Leader in GI Motility/Liver Drug Discovery; Senior Director, GI DDU in our Cambridge office.

Reporting to the Vice President, Projects and Operations in the GI DDU, this role will be responsible for Directing Projects from Target to Candidate Selection as well as driving overall therapeutic strategy for one of the 3 core strategic areas of focus for Takeda s GI Drug Discovery.

The successful candidate will be a business focused scientific research leader with a strong background in preclinical space and exposure to portfolio development in GI Motility, Liver, or Inflammation.

The Portfolio Leader will be a global and highly visible role, representing all discovery programs for their therapeutic area at Corporate Governance. They will be a key stakeholder in searching & selecting external partners and collaborators alongside the Takeda CEI (Centre of External Innovation) and the GI TAU (Therapeutic Area Unit on the clinical development side of the business). They will be responsible for the implementation of GI therapeutic research strategy this will be measured by their Discovery teams productivity in taking approved Targets to CS and by the growth in quality of the GI Discovery pipeline.

We expect these roles to be a significant voice in our business and the successful candidate may choose to take a high potential asset forward through IND into Development as the Global Project Leader.

Here, everyone matters and you will be a vital contributor to our inspiring, bold mission. As a Portfolio Leader in GI Motility/Liver/IBD Drug Discovery; Senior Director, GI DDU working on the respective function within GI discovery team, you will be empowered to build the research platform for Takeda to expand and develop in these unmet fronts of disease areas, and a typical day will include:


  • Provide Leadership Direction to all Discovery Projects in one of Motility/Liver therapeutic teams in GI DDU (numbering 5-10 projects from Target Validation to Candidate Selection phases of research).
  • Leverage the insights of the Next Generation Biology Team in GI DDU to build the strategy for our Discovery Portfolio in Motility/Liver/IBD in collaboration with TAU and based upon the Takeda vision of utilizing internal assets, academic collaborators and external partners (both assets and enabling technology platforms).
  • Draw upon a nuanced knowledge base of the Motility/Liver landscape to be able to identify and differentiate high potential acquisition or partnering targets in Pharma/Biotech community. Work with DDU, CEI, and TAU portfolio teams to perform due diligence on these candidates and be able to articulate their value.
  • Take ownership with the Partner for the joint Research Plan and contribute to Business Case formation for these deals. Be the Lead Presenter to governance and pre-governance committees to approve these opportunities.
  • Bring all of their discovery programs through the Takeda-defined research stage gates rapidly to deliver high quality therapeutic assets in GI. Be the Program Leader at Governance until handover to TAU Global Program Leader at Candidate Selection.
  • Be accountable for setting the Mid-Range (MRP) Budget with the Head of Projects and Operations in DDU and ensure all KPIs are reported and managed.
  • Build a close knit team with DDU Scientific Lead, Project Manager and Research teams based in Boston, San Diego, Shonan (Japan) and Europe (Switzerland & UK)
  • Form nascent GPTs at Candidate Nomination with TREC and TAU and ensure required sub-teams for translational work, early Clinical Proof of Concept and CMC are formed at the appropriate time
  • Initiate and manage highly collaborative cross-functional relationships within Takeda and outside with Takeda partners, advisors, and service providers in support of GI DDU projects.
  • Plan ahead with Scientific Leaders and TREC GPMs to put in place all elements of Scientific Plans and all components that will go into the future Asset Strategy to handover to TAU Program Leader at CS or to develop into that GPL role for high potential assets.
  • Energetically engage with the entire DDU team as GI Leader and ensure the entire group contributes to overall DDU performance goals and produces high quality therapies for development. Add their significant voice to the Vision and Direction of the entire global team.


  • Oversees the setting of project objectives and critical path timelines with Scientific Project leaders for projects assigned to this role.
  • Ensures Research Strategy is agreed with TAU, has creative and innovative targets and enabling technologies, and is communicated across Takeda. Collaborate closely with Next Generation Biology team to build and refresh this strategy.
  • Supports and manages high quality due diligence and selection of industry and academic partners in the Motility/Liver/Inflammation in collaboration with Next Generation Biology team, CEI and TAU.
  • Accountable for portfolio delivery to time, quality and cost. Ensure adherence to reporting requirements for own portfolio projects.
  • Responsible for maintaining high effective and focused relationships with key Takeda functions and all external partners and advisors for Motility/Liver/Inflammation drug discovery
  • Manages all content for business and executive reporting with Head of Projects and Operations (from Investor relations to monthly reports).
  • Coach and support Scientific Project Leaders to drive projects to stage gates and ensure KPIs are met. Highlight and resolve project risks and issues with project team. Be the voice of the team at Executive level and drive the portfolio objectives for approx 5-10 assets (partnering with both academic and industrial partners).
  • Ensure smooth cross-functionally liaisons with critical functional leaders for project success (e.g. TREC, TAU clinical, Legal, and across all scientific functions such as Toxicology/Safety, DMPK as necessary). Be accountable for resolving all portfolio related issues.
  • Maintain a high scientific knowledge base of internal assets and targets as well as external competitor developments in Motility/Liver/Inflammation.
  • Support Project teams and their evolution into GPTs from CN stage gate
  • Ensure all Project Governance requirements are met with high quality thinking. Be accountable for questioning the project teams and driving rapid insightful decision making. Be the voice of the team and lead presentation of all portfolio projects at PRC and at BD decision making committees.


  • Has an advanced degree in health or life sciences (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M.) with at least 10 years industry experience in an R&D or Portfolio function, or the equivalent in an academic setting
  • Is highly knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of Motility, Liver or Inflammation drug discovery, through to POC
  • Shows cross-cultural understanding to utilize the diverse talents and has demonstrated ability to manage matrix teams to maximize the organizational productivity
  • Has strong leadership skills and acumen
  • Structured thinker, strong communicator
  • Ability to influence across a range of functions.
  • Natural excellence in written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Has experience of working through virtual and/or matrix team models in basic research
  • Capable of leading a matrixed team comprised of scientists from within Takeda as well as external collaborators
  • Has significant experience of participation in diligence activities in the preclinical discovery function


  • Takeda Boston office based.
  • Use of video/WebEx from home out of hours occasionally to link with global team for project meetings in differing timezones
  • 25% travel may be required (San Diego/Shonan/Congresses/Research partners)


  • 401(k) with company match and Annual Retirement Contribution Plan
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Company match of charitable contributions
  • Health & Wellness programs including onsite flu shots and health screenings
  • Generous time off for vacation and the option to purchase additional vacation days
  • Community Outreach Programs

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