Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0025
Post Date 4/17/2017
Company Akcea
Title Director, UK/ROI Sales and Marketing
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.

Akcea's most advanced program, volanesorsen, is in development to treat patients with either familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) or familial partial lipodystrophy (FPL), two orphan lipid disorders that are characterized by extremely high triglycerides and ApoC-III. The most advanced of these 2 indications is FCS with Phase 3 data successfully meeting the primary endpoint.

Akcea’s publicly filed S-1 states: “In the third quarter of 2017, we plan to file for marketing authorization for volanesorsen to treat patients with FCS.”  Therefore, we have started to build our commercial and medical teams in preparation for launch.

Sales & Marketing Manager/Director, UK & ROI

The Sales & Marketing Manager/Director for UK & ROI will be responsible for the successful planning and execution of pre-launch and launch activities for volanesorsen, and for building and leading the account team for the UK & ROI post launch. S/he will report to the General Manager, UK/Nordics and will work closely with multiple functions, particularly the UK/Nordics Field Medical Director (FMD), Global Medical Affairs, Marketing, Global Operations & Effectiveness, and Patient Advocacy.


Near term:

  • Refining pre-launch budget and launch plan in collaboration with the FMD and General Manager (GM)
  • Proactively communicating with relevant internal stakeholders (e.g., Global Marketing, Global Commercial Ops, Medical Affairs, Legal, Global Clinical Operations etc.) and external stakeholders (e.g., Patient groups, medical societies etc.)  to identify, plan, develop and/or revise project deliverables which are identified for product or launch success
  • Working with UK/Nordic team to help deliver against launch metrics, and track and monitor progress against plan (KPIs and the like)
  • Supporting strategic commercial initiatives, including such activities as commercial forecast modeling, market planning etc.
  • Planning and executing KOL initiatives in collaboration with the FMD, to build awareness, understanding and consensus of FCS amongst the medical community prior to launch, e.g. consensus meeting/s, congresses etc.
  • Support the development of an FCS patient community through collaboration with relevant patient groups and networks, supporting the identification and development of 2-3 patient advocates in the UK
  • Initiate the development of a UK patient support program for volanesorsen, engaging with relevant internal and external stakeholders

Longer term (Q2 2018 onwards):

  • Recruit, build & lead a high performing account team for the UK and ROI
  • Develop and execute on key account strategies/plans
  • Meet or exceed revenue targets through effective implementation of the sales operational plan as established with the GM
  • Manage, train, motivate and develop account managers to perform at a high level and to deliver exceptional customer service
  • Plan the effective use of resources to achieve sales targets e.g. budget, workforce planning and product planning
  • Interact with stakeholders and decision makers to establish a significant presence for volanesorsen and Akcea
  • Adhere to all UK compliance, employment law, SOPs and policies
  • Develop and execute innovative commercial programs and high quality education programs for HCPs 
  • In collaboration with the GM, Human Resources and other relevant functional teams, set performance targets, incentives, and regularly review progress vs. target
  • Instill and develop a true key account management philosophy to maximize the treatment benefit of volanesorsen for relevant patients
  • Develop an implementation plan for a CRM system across the UK and ROI


  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in biotech or pharmaceuticals, including work with orphan or ultra-orphan products and at least 4 years in leadership positions.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a science or technology; advanced degree in a related field (business, technology, or science) preferred
  • Extensive and up to date knowledge of the UK Healthcare Environment.
  • Significant (at least 3-4 years) marketing experience at a county level required; EU or Global level would be a plus
  • At least 3-4 years’ experience and successful track record of sales and sales management, ideally having built and managed account teams for orphan/ultra-orphan or specialty products
  • Demonstrated experience developing and implementing an account management approach across the UK and/or other markets
  • Ability to leverage knowledge of marketplace, competitor landscape and economic forces and translate them into clear short term and long term strategies
  • Extensive successful experience working and building relationships with patient organizations, professional societies and KOLs
  • Collaborative and able to drive performance through teamwork in a multi-disciplinary environment with both local and international teams while working remotely
  • Superior project management skills, highly effective at managing time and resources
  • Superior written and verbal communication in English
  • Self-starter, used to working with a great deal of autonomy
  • Travel approx. 30-40% -  this position requires some travel within UK and more occasionally to EU and US


Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

Please visit our website,, to apply for this position. Reference Requisition #17-0025



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