US BIOTECH ENTERS JAPAN
“Our client (US biotech / rare disease) approached us in mid 2019 and shared with our 2 Pharmaceutical Partner’s their Japanese market entry plan. Before building out their local leadership team, they were initially very interested in better understanding the current market landscape. Out of their global executive, only one member had actual work experience in Japan and that happened to be 20+ years prior.
Several VC’s took place prior to a group retainer contract being signed with the client eager to learn about what we knew about their main competitors, how similar-sized companies were structured and general compensation packages.
The initial 4 hires included the Japan Head along with Directors in Regulatory Affairs (sokatsu), Quality Assurance (hinseki) and Drug Safety (anseki).
Our team provided a shortlist of candidates for each position ranging from 12-20 candidates. Upon reviewing this initial list, our client identified 6 professionals for each role that wished to have an initial screening with.
Largely due to the attractiveness of our client and their first in class therapies, we were able to present at least 4 CV’s for each role.
HQ did have an aggressive timeline in place and were fortunately able to do the last 2 rounds back-to-back to ensure the target date could be met.
When it came to selecting the finalists for each position, our client took our on board our advice and started focusing more closely at the dynamic between the different personalities for each function. Whilst the standard MBTI questionnaires were completed, looking at the balance of experience at previous employers including foreign/domestic pharma, mega pharma/smaller biotech, established leader/high potential but unproven etc…
In the end they were able to successfully on board all 4 candidates on the same start date and have since grown to 12 employees, with the same original members still currently working there”