Job Details

Requisition Number 16-0069
Post Date 2/13/2017
Company Akcea
Title General Manager (Canada)
Employment Type Full Time

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is a development and commercialization company focused on impacting the lives of patients with serious cardiometabolic lipid disorders. 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.

Established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in late 2014 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Akcea was founded with a robust portfolio of development-stage drugs covering multiple targets and disease states using advanced antisense therapeutics.

General Manager for Canada

The General Manager for Canada will be responsible for the successful commercialization in Canada, and post-commercialization management of volanesorsen, a novel antisense investigational therapy now in Phase 3 trials for two different, rare lipid disorders.  

Near-term priorities and responsibilities related to the commercialization of volanesorsen include:

  • Managing full P&L for Canada
  • Developing region-level budget and launch plan through commercialization
  • Achieving financial targets and other launch metrics
  • Providing Canadian perspective to all aspects of the business – supply chain, forecasting, branding, development planning etc.
  • Proactively communicating with relevant internal stakeholders (e.g., Marketing, Program Management, Sales, Commercial Ops, Medical Affairs, Regulatory, Preclinical, Legal, HEOR, PR/IR, Market Access, Clinical Operations, internal communication) and external stakeholders (e.g., Alliance partners, medical societies)  to identify, plan, develop and/or revise project deliverables which are identified for product or launch success
  • Tracking and monitoring progress of execution against plan (KPIs and the like)
  • Supporting strategic commercial initiatives, including such activities as commercial forecast modeling, market planning etc.
  • Developing strategies for relationships with KOLs (relevant areas include lipidology, endocrinology, pancreas specialists/gastroenterologists), medical societies and local congress
  • Adapting global marketing and medical strategies and tactics for local execution
  • Developing a comprehensive disease awareness plan by adapting global strategies for disease awareness to region-level tactics
  • Working in close partnership with Global Access to develop and begin execution of strategies to ensure optimal market access, pricing and reimbursement in the region, including evaluation of and access to innovative access models for rare disease drugs including country launch sequence strategy
  • Scoping and hiring a cross-functional team to support success

The General Manager for Canada will report to the Vice President of Commercial Development and will work closely with multiple functions, particularly the European Medical Director and global leads for Market Access & Pricing, Medical Affairs, Marketing and Patient Advocacy.


  • 15 years’ experience in biotech or pharmaceuticals, including work with orphan or ultra-orphan products
  • Bachelor’s degree in a science or technology and/or advanced degree in a related field (business, technology, or science)
  • Experienced commercial leadership in the region including marketing, sales and access responsibility  
  • Prior country or regional level General Management experience a plus
  • Able to drive performance in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Comfortable working concurrently in multiple countries
  • Superior written and verbal communication in English
  • Self-directed, working with a great deal of autonomy
  • Highly effective at managing time and resources
  • Travel 40% -  this position requires significant travel within Canada as well as to headquarters in the United States and other markets, for activities including medical congresses and KOL engagement

Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

Please visit our website,, to apply for this position.

Reference Requisition #16-0069


Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. are proud to be EEO employers.


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