Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0133
Post Date 5/3/2018
Company Akcea
Title General Manager - Spain & Portugal
Employment Type Full Time

Akcea Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercialising 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. 


Akcea has established a presence across the European Region and now wishes to appoint a General Manager for Spain & Portugal. 

General Manager for Spain & Portugal


The General Manager for Spain & Portugal is primarily responsible for developing and implementing strategies and tactics to support successful commercialisation of volanesorsen and inotersen in the specified markets.   It will also will be the first commercial position in this region for Akcea, and will assume a leadership role for specific, time-sensitive activities required in other markets which may not yet have a commercial lead.   The General Manager for Spain & Portugal will report to the Head of Europe 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.


Near-term priorities and responsibilities related to the commercialisation of Akcea’s pipeline of products include:

  • Develop region-level budget and launch plan through commercialisation
  • Provide region-specific perspective to all aspects of the business – supply chain, forecasting, branding, development planning
  • Proactively communicate with relevant internal (e.g., Marketing, Program Management, Sales, Commercial Ops, Medical Affairs, Regulatory, Preclinical, Legal, HEOR, PR/IR, Market Access, Clinical Operations, internal communication) and external (e.g., Alliance partners, medical societies) stakeholders to identify, plan, develop or revise project deliverables which are identified for product or launch success
  • Track and monitor progress of execution of plan (KPIs and the like)
  • Support strategic commercial initiatives, including such activities as commercial forecast modeling, market planning, etc.
  • Responsible for achieving top and bottom line results as well as cash flow targets aimed at a maximum value return
  • KOL development (relevant areas include lipidology, endocrinology, pancreas specialists/gastroenterologists), medical society and local congress strategy
  • Develop a comprehensive disease awareness plan by adapting global strategies for disease awareness to region-level tactics
  • Work 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 hire of the full region’s commercial team in advance of launch
  • Adapt global marketing strategies and tactics for local execution



  • 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
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in English
  • Self-directed, working with a great deal of autonomy
  • Highly effective at managing time and able to resource
  • Travel 40% - This position is expected to have significant travel within its region as well as to other significant European markets, for activities including medical congresses and KOL engagement



Excellent salary and benefits package offered

as well as the opportunity to work in an inspiring, strongly team-orientated environment

of high personal engagement with a drive for joint success.


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

Reference Requisition 18-0133


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