Associate Director/Director Business Development @ Astex Pharmaceuticals

  • TypeFull Time
  • SeniorityLeadership
  • RoleNon-Clinical
  • SectorNon-Clinical
  • LocationUK

About Astex

Astex Pharmaceuticals is a world leader in innovative drug discovery and development. The company has successfully applied its proprietary fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) platform to generate multiple new drug candidates that are progressing in clinical development. Successful collaborations have led to two launched oncology drugs (Kisqali® partnered with Novartis and Balversa® partnered with Janssen).

Astex continues to grow and focuses on Oncology and Neurological Disorders. Historically Astex’s fragment screening platform has relied upon X-ray crystallography to support structure-based drug discovery (SBDD), however the increased ability of cryo-EM to deliver atomic resolution structures has led to Astex establishing a state-of-the-art, in-house, cryo-EM facility.

The Opportunity

We are looking to appoint an Associate Director/Director of Business Development with demonstrable experience, a track record of deal-making, and an ability to identify and evaluate new project opportunities whilst establishing, building, and maintaining relationships with key collaborators.

As a key member of the Astex Corporate Development Team, you will work effectively with other Astex colleagues including those responsible for Corporate Development functions in alliance management, external science and innovation, competitive intelligence, and the management of intellectual property.

You will be responsible for strengthening our research and development activities with a focus on expanding our access to external innovation and establishing new collaborations and you will play a supporting role in the scientific & financial evaluation of new collaboration opportunities. This role will have a high level of visibility with the senior leadership team at Astex.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Agreement negotiations ranging from drug discovery and development alliances with pharma and biotech companies and leading academic research institutes to all those agreements with third parties that underpin Astex research and development activities.
  • Support Alliance Management post-deal signing to establish, embed, manage, and nurture those relationships to ensure maximum benefit to Astex.
  • Identify & source new external opportunities and lead mixed scientific and Corporate Development teams throughout the entire deal process. Support technical and commercial due diligence to enable high-quality decision-making.
  • Develop and maintain an expert understanding of the scientific and asset landscape and competitive intelligence to ensure we keep abreast of emerging opportunities, changes, and threats in the environment.
  • Building a strong external network with biopharma, academic, and finance leaders in the most innovative areas of science and pharmaceutical R&D.


  • A science or business degree relevant to pharmaceutical R&D, business development, or technology transfer (Ph.D., PharmD, or MD preferred; an MBA or other advanced degree in a related field would be a plus).
  • Proven experience in business development in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry particularly at the R&D stage or in an academic technology transfer environment.
  • Experience in opportunity sourcing, deal structuring, and negotiation.
  • Familiarity with IP licensing, drafting, and negotiating a broad range of agreement types including CDA, MTA, consultancy, and more comprehensive research collaboration agreements.
  • Broad and detailed knowledge of all aspects of the pharmaceutical R&D process from early discovery through to marketed products.

You will be a self-starter with an ability to thrive in a dynamic environment with a high level of flexibility, an ability to multi-task, and experience in working with, and managing, mixed teams. A strong communicator, proficient in presenting to senior leaders and key stakeholders.

Why Astex

We offer excellent training and development opportunities as well as a highly competitive salary and benefits package including hybrid and remote working options to promote a flexible and inclusive work environment.

Astex is situated 2.5 miles from Cambridge City centre on the Cambridge Science Park. The Park has onsite sports facilities and excellent transport links to London.

At Astex we embrace diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse Company representing all backgrounds, harnessing industry-leading scientific innovation, and behaviours.

Application Information

To apply, please visit our recruitment website and submit your application before the closing date.