Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0032
Post Date 2/9/2018
Company Ionis
Title Assistant Director, Patient Advocacy
Employment Type Full Time

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in the North San Diego County city of Carlsbad, was founded in 1989 to create advanced, novel medicines to treat diseases with an unmet medical need. We are the pioneer and leader in the discovery and development of antisense drugs. By exploiting various cutting-edge RNA targeting technologies, we are capable of specifically and efficiently targeting any gene of interest, including ones which are not targetable by small molecules or antibodies. We currently have three approved drugs, and a robust pipeline of over 30 drugs in various stages of clinical trials.

Ionis is a challenging, motivating and rewarding environment designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence. Our success is a direct result of our outstanding employees. We are interested in bringing together individuals with different skill sets into this creative environment to be part of a productive team. Join us and experience our unique culture while you develop and expand your career.

Assistant Director, Patient Advocacy


Reporting to the Executive Director of Patient Advocacy, the Assistant Director will be responsible for researching and developing global advocacy relationships to inform Ionis’ research and development strategies.   The Assistant Director will develop innovative partnerships that provide a deeper understanding of various diseases from a patient perspective to advance and support Ionis’ corporate, business, R&D, goals. 

Will partner with the R&D organization to inform development programs. Requires a strong working knowledge of patient advocacy organizations, professional societies, and health policy organizations in order implement strategic alliances and identify opportunities to improve patient outcomes and identify solutions that educate and empower patient organizations.  Will have the ability to work within a team structure, independently on project assignments, and with scientific and clinical teams on a per project basis.


  • Drive the interface with multiple patient advocacy organizations, professional societies, and health policy organizations
    • Build relationships and provide guidance to existing and/or evolving patient associations
  • Lead the integration of advocacy into priority projects; S/he will work with internal stakeholders, to identify, develop, and implement strategic alliances with professional and patient advocacy groups.
  • Project manage the implementation of new strategy and tactics into priority projects
  • Maintain relationships/serves as a liaison between industry and the patient community (organizes/facilitates clinical trials roundtables across the U.S., bringing together patients and their physicians and clinical team sponsors to discuss opportunities to participate in trials)
  • Manage sponsorships, charitable donations and external presentations to professional organizations and non-profit partners in the Rare Diseases community; including drafts/reviews presentations
  • Serve as industry stakeholder on key committees (i.e. Industry Advisory Boards)
  • Liaise and partner with policy-oriented national patient organizations (e.g., NORD, EveryLife Foundation)
  • Monitor press/trade press/Congressional activity for relevant information and develops strategy for response, including media, position statements/press releases, or informal communications with other stakeholders
  • Deliver actionable patient and caregiver insights that inform discovery, clinical testing, delivery and the demonstration of value of company compounds and products
  • Assist with other administrative and programmatic activities outside of core responsibilities to support overall success of the organization
  • Enable a deeper understanding of a disease so that they can be integrated into research and development policy and procedures across all research and pipeline compounds  
  • Develop and facilitate communications between Ionis and key national professional and patient advocacy groups
  • Manage internal processes and champion patient input and perspective into all appropriate Ionis initiatives which directly impact patients, including disease education programs, clinical trial design, research collaborations, patient services, and others
  • Other duties as assigned


  • BA/BS in communications, public policy, marketing or a related area
  • Minimum of 2-3 years’ experience in a pharmaceutical/biotech company; patient advocacy, government relations, marketing, market access or in a patient, consumer or professional association a plus
  • Understanding of healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry required
  • Understanding of relevant regulations and guidelines; including FDA regulatory framework for drug development and review
    • Ability to bridge scientific/clinical goals with policy/regulatory strategy a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to lead cross-functionally to gain consensus and alignment
  • Exceptional oral, written, interpersonal and presentation skills
  • Solid ability to effectively influence and deliver information, and articulate advocacy position and/or issues to the leadership of the organization to gain alignment
  • Solid ability to work independently with tight timelines
  • Demonstrated track record of strong patient engagement; advocacy or other equivalent
  • Solid business acumen; ability to direct and manage vendors to ensure successful implementation of initiatives
  • Strong budget management competencies
  • Consistently represents the company with the outmost level of professional to internal and external customers
  • Experience with successful negotiation

Travel Requirements:

  • 20-30% Routine travel for work (to attend industry-related conferences, scientific meetings, patient group events, host clinical trial roundtables, etc.)


Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

For more information about Ionis and to apply for this position, please visit our website, Reference Requisition #17-0032




Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is proud to be an EEO employer.




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