Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0231
Post Date 12/5/2018
Company Akcea
Title Rare Disease Specialist - Central
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. 

Rare Disease Specialist - Chicago South

The Rare Disease Specialist (RDS) plays a critical role in the success of Tegsedi's launch.  They will be accountable for their territory’s performance, including executing all post-launch commercial activities.  The RDS will be responsible for analyzing the hereditary TTR amyloidosis market, developing a localized business and routing plan, and efficiently managing the territory. 

Calling on healthcare practitioners (HCPs) and institutions involved in the care of patients with transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis, each Rare Disease Specialist will educate HCPs regarding this condition, its signs/symptoms, which patients would be appropriate to test for this condition, and how to do so. Further, the Specialist will launch Tegsedi into the marketplace with targeted customers. Targets will be driven by the Specialist’s initiative and research but are expected to emphasize practitioners including: neurology, cardiology, and hematology.


  • Promote patient-centered disease and product education to HCPs to improve patient care and achieve or exceed company objectives for territory
  • Develop and execute a strategic and tactical plan to drive business objectives based on territory-level data and insights, including referral and cross-disciplinary practice dynamics
  • Effectively utilize available resources and programs including peer-to-peer education, and cross-functional partners within the Company to address identified knowledge gaps
  • Navigate and identify opportunities through healthcare including academic medical institutions, integrated delivery networks, accountable care organizations, private practices, and community hospital systems
  • Demonstrate leadership through active collaboration with partners across the organization and proactive contributions that improve Regional, National and Global performance
  • Execute all of the above with strong understanding and adherence to compliance and corporate policies including appropriate documentation and reporting


  • Minimum 5+ years sales in Biotech, Specialty Pharmaceutical, or Rare Disease
    • Neurology, cardiology, and hematology experience strongly preferred, including history of:
      • Building relationships with physicians referring, diagnosing and/or treating amyloidosis, peripheral neuropathies/neuropathic pain, cardiomyopathy and/or multiple myeloma
      • Building Account relationships in medical centers and teaching hospitals with specialty departments who treat the most severe patients referred on by community clinicians or other hospitals
      • Understanding of injectable products
      • Commercial “start-up” experience
  • Documented track record of delivering consistent, exceptional levels of performance and leadership
  • Highly motivated, entrepreneurial, self-starter, with experience effectively partnering with HCPs
  • Willingness to be a “road warrior” and demonstrated ability to manage a large geography with minimal guidance
  • Ability to manage ambiguity, navigate complexity, and be creative and solutions-oriented
  • Demonstrated success educating physicians about:
    • Complex diseases that may present with a spectrum of non-specific and/or heterogeneous signs/symptoms
    • Diverse patient profiles which do not always lend themselves to simple segmentation and categorization for diagnostic and/or treatment decisions
  • Ability to build lasting relationships with institutions and practices with barriers to access
  • Product launch experience is required
  • Rare disease, orphan drug, and specialty pharmacy distribution experience is preferred
  • Excellent written and verbal skills
  • Valid driver’s license required


  • Bachelor’s degree (business, technology, or science) required
  • Fluent in English, written and oral


  • Domestic travel required and ranges from 30% -70% depending on territory

US Field based

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