Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0126
Post Date 7/16/2018
Company Akcea
Title Director, Commercial Finance
Employment Type Full Time

Akcea Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious rare diseases. Our priority is to bring important new therapeutics to patients in need. In order to do so, we must drive clinical program execution, understand patient and physician needs and work with regulators to gain global approval and market access to these new therapeutics. Akcea has a portfolio of development-stage drugs covering multiple targets and disease states using advanced antisense therapeutics.

Akcea was established by Ionis Pharmaceuticals in late 2014 and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in July 2017 under the symbol “AKCA.” Akcea is a global company headquartered in Cambridge, MA with offices in Carlsbad, CA and across the EU and Canada. 


Director, Commercial Finance

The Director, Commercial Financial is a newly created role that will serve as a key member of the management team reporting to the Head of FP&A and the President. This role requires an understanding of commercial operations for sales of therapeutics in the pharma/bio sector. In particular, we are looking for an individual has been part of global drug launches and has built processes from scratch.  He/she will be responsible for developing meaningful financial and operational metrics that will help drive decision-making across all products and geographies, including country operations. The Director, Commercial Finance successfully conceives of and implement strategies while overseeing financial planning and with responsibility for budgeting and forecasting for global commercial operations, as well as implementing best-in-class financial processes and systems to support continued growth and expansion. They are expected to have a hands-on approach in all aspects of the job and demonstrate the highest caliber of professional and personal integrity and ethical decision-making.

This position will be based out of our Carlsbad, CA office.  Relocation provided.


Team Player

  • Oversees the FP&A activities for global commercial organization; partners with the management team to provide insights into the business and establish, implement, and contribute to the achievement of commercial objectives
  • Fosters an environment of problem solving, efficiency, pro-activity, and improved business practices
  • Spearheads pro-active communications at all levels to ensure broad-based understanding of financial objectives and processes relevant to a profitable and evolving global commercial organization
  • Works closely with Sales Operations to understand and challenge products sales forecast (including understanding all inputs and assumptions), as well as approve the method of developing gross-to-net estimates
  • Involves Head of FP&A in areas of complexity, risk mitigation and strategic importance


  • Drives the commercial organization’s multi-year financial planning process, including development of PowerPoint communications, to ensure the company's expanding commercial operations is on track to meet or exceed financial objectives
  • Leads continuous improvement of financial tools, business modeling, financial planning, and processes that can scale with the company's growth
  • Contributes to the establishment of new partnerships, the development of joint plans, and execution of partnerships/alliances
  • Serves as a financial advisor and partner to the President and commercial leadership, including providing analyses of budgets and, both, top line and margin-level financial trends


  • Develops processes that enhance commercial management's financial stewardship in support of the company's transition to profitability
  • Executes robust, efficient, and effective budgeting and forecasting processes that reflect the complex multinational structure of the company
  • Prepares analyses, commentary, and presentations that ensure strategic messages are effectively and appropriately communicated to members of commercial management and other constituents, as needed
  • Provides proactive recommendations to enhance financial performance
  • Provides support for corporate partnering transactions, acquisitions, spin-offs, and other projects


Cultural Expectations

Complex and evolving business model

  • Requires an ability to think ahead, foresee opportunities, develop financial strategy, and enact action plans to evaluate and optimize business and market opportunities
  • Requires a hands-on financial professional with demonstrated success in working closely with commercial operations to understand the key levers and where/when appropriate to implement changes to have a positive impact on the business
  • This role ensures the commercial leadership team always has necessary information for effective and timely decision-making, including analysis of options and considerations

Solution-focused organization

  • All employees must be comfortable in an environment that embraces collaboration and interrogative debate to manage projects, solve problems, and resolve challenging issues
  • Requires thorough preparation, critical thinking, and a willingness to have others challenge ideas and thinking

Fast-paced, intense environment

  • The ever-changing business environment with rapid evolution of commercialization structures heightens the need for proactive thinking, communication, and decision-making
  • Requires comfort working in gray zone vs. black and white and the ability to make timely decisions without necessarily having all information



  • BS/BA in Accounting, Finance or related field
  • MBA strongly preferred
  • 10+ years in progressively responsible financial leadership roles, in publicly traded life science and/or biotech companies
  • Experience in long-range financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting within an evolving commercial organization with global locations
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, both oral and written, including PowerPoint, with a demonstrated competency in crafting the financial story and clearly communicating complex data to non-financial stakeholders
  • Proven ability to build strong partnerships across the organization, influence others, and work collaboratively within a team-oriented environment
  • Able to effectively coordinate efforts across the organization (both internally and externally) to achieve key objectives; demonstrated ability to work effectively in a highly-matrixed organization
  • Some travel required, maximum 25%


Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

For more information on Akcea and to apply for this position, please visit our website: 

Reference #18-0126


Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is proud to be an EEO employer.

Apply On-line
Send This Job to a Friend