Setting the scene 

Matthew Jamison partnered with a unique European biotech with ambitions of taking their lead candidate into clinic and typical challenges of building a development team capable of leading the company through IND studies and developing a successful phase 1 study. As this was the company’s first move into clinic, it required individuals comfortable working with ambiguity, but also a great cultural fit to lead the current team in place. 

Assessment of Needs 

We always approach assignments with the company’s aim as the key marker in determining if any candidates selected would be able to deliver the business objective. Following an assessment of the aims we began a search for a Chief Medical Officer who would have the capability to lead the clinical development as well as add weight to all future fundraising rounds. Alongside this a following hire of an R&D director to supplement much of the hands-on activities needed to be completed. 

In order to deliver excellence in the candidate process and a guaranteed timeline we took on the search through a retained solution with our typical search process leading to a high calibre shortlist within 4-6 weeks. 

The Search – Change in the Plan

The search for the CMO was both UK & European focused and within 3 weeks an initial shortlist was selected. Within 6 weeks there were 2 individuals speaking with the board and preparing for the offer stage. 

Unfortunately, the organisation had a setback forcing a change of strategy to increase the cash runway in order to reach essential data goals, which meant the R&D Director hire became the urgent priority and the timeline for the CMO search was pushed back.

Used to working with the changes in the biotech space, we managed to present a candidate for an offer stage & acceptance within 6 weeks. 


Most importantly the R&D Director was able to drive the business towards their goal of IND submission within two years. As an added benefit the calibre of the R&D Director has also seen the company attract high potential talent and retain future business leaders.

Nick Ross

Author Nick Ross

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