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Sanofi Group Director, External Innovation, Gene Therapies-Cambridge, MA in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Global Business Development & Licensing (BD&L) department is part of the Sanofi Partnering, a Global Enabling Function within the Sanofi Group. The mission of Global BD&L is to seek transformational ideas and execute external growth initiatives to address Sanofi Group´s strategic priorities. This mission is fully supporting Sanofi´s strategic roadmap, specially aligned with the following strategic priority: Reshape the portfolio and sustain innovation in R&D to serve patients worldwide.

The main responsibilities of Global BD&L include:

  • Seeking and executing external growth and collaboration opportunities (Alliances & Licenses) in coherence with the Group’s strategy;

  • Evaluating the economic interest of external projects maximizing value creation for the Group

BD&L-Innovative Technologies is a sub-department within Global BD&L that is dedicated to enhancing Sanofi’s technology capabilities in the areas of Biologics, Drug Discovery and Translational Technologies and covers 4 areas: The team covers 4 key areas:

Biologics (Research, Development and Manufacturing) : These include antibodies, protein-based therapeutics, nucleic acids-based therapeutics and gene therapies Drug discovery: The team drive the SEED concept as an innovative business model to evaluate novel targets and create early assets. The team will continue to develop our relationship with Evotec and to deploy crowd-sourcing in order to enrich Therapeutic Unit options in drug discovery New technologies for drug discovery & development: The team will evaluate cutting-edge drug discovery approaches (recent examples include microdroplet-based drug screening and artificial intelligence-powered drug discovery). The team should work hand-in-hand with the Digital BD team to leverage stake-holder support in this area Translational Technologies: The team will identify key gaps in this field both within the research platforms (Translational Sciences) and within therapeutic areas.

We work very closely with variety of sources of innovation including academia, emerging biotechs, VCs etc.

We work very closely with variety of sources of innovation including academia, emerging biotechs, VCs etc.

Job Purpose / Description of the position

This Director-level position for External Innovation for gene therapies reflects Sanofi’s strategic interest in this exciting field of molecular medicine. The position is intended to be a key enabler and accelerator of Sanofi’s corporate objective of leading in the field of gene therapy and reshaping our portfolio. The incumbent will be expected to contribute to both the strategy and the execution for gene therapy technologies and therapeutic applications. Below is a list of key responsibilities:

Internally, work closely with TA heads, head of gene therapy research and with the technology platforms (e.g. Biologics Development and Industrial Affairs) to appreciate, understand and prioritize their targets- and related innovation objectives.

Externally, develop and leverage the ecosystem of academics, VCs, biotechs and others in order to propose innovative gene therapy approaches (therapeutic or technological) to the TAs and platforms aligned with their priorities. Internally, the incumbent will work closely with key stakeholders in Research and Development to understand and map gaps, needs and priorities. The incumbent will develop strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders to access and progress gap-filling opportunities.

Maintain and drive a portfolio of innovative gene therapy opportunities. The incumbent will exercise their deep knowledge of targets, technologies and the discovery and development processes to judiciously triage opportunities and prioritize them for presentation to stakeholders and for funding.

Work closely with the Transaction group, Legal, Finance, IP etc to put in place contracts to leverage these opportunities. Where needed, the incumbent will work with the Alliance Management team to ensure proper management of some of these alliances.

Provide leadership on specific programs from the start of the evaluation through the governance process and to the start of due diligence. Work closely with the deal and assessment teams, build and maintain aggressive and realistic project management timelines, roles and responsibilities through the end-to-end process.

The incumbent will identify suitable external forums such as gene therapy conferences like ASGTC to represent Sanofi’s priorities to the innovation ecosystem.

The incumbent will report to the Head, BD&L-Innovative Technologies.

Leadership Qualifications :

Like all positions in BD&L this one also requires leadership skills and an entrepreneurial mindset. The incumbent will be steeped in the gene therapy field with a publication track record who can strongly influence the choice of external innovation projects vis a vis Sanofi’s TA and platform heads.

Qualifications :


  • A minimum of a PhD degree is required. MD and/or MBA strongly is strongly preferred.

Experience & Knowledge

A minimum 5 years of hands-on work experience in the academia, biotech/pharma industry on gene therapy vectors, specifically on adeno-associated virus, lentivirus, protein engineering, expression systems, etc. is required. Working Knowledge of gene therapy development processes and manufacturing is required. Working knowledge of non-viral gene delivery and mRNA delivery, formulation technologies is preferred. Demonstrated track record of working cross-­‐functionally and across management levels with the ability to influence peers and seniors to make choices is required. Selected candidate will possess strong external network in the field of gene therapy Demonstration of strong business and entrepreneurial mind-set and willingness and courage to take risk. Demonstrated track record of deal execution (e.g. with a deal sheet). Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including strong presentation skills. Strong desire to pursue a career in business development. Ability to travel domestically and internationally a minimum of 30%.


Fluency in written and spoken English. Knowledge of additional languages (French and/or German) a plus

Sanofi Inc. and its U.S. affiliates are Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employers committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; creed; religion; national origin; age; ancestry; nationality; marital, domestic partnership or civil union status; sex, gender, gender identity or expression; affectional or sexual orientation; disability; veteran or military status or liability for military status; domestic violence victim status; atypical cellular or blood trait; genetic information (including the refusal to submit to genetic testing) or any other characteristic protected by law. #GD-SA; #LI-SA

At Sanofi diversity and inclusion is foundational to how we operate and embedded in our Core Values. We recognize to truly tap into the richness diversity brings we must lead with inclusion and have a workplace where those differences can thrive and be leveraged to empower the lives of our colleagues, patients and customers. We respect and celebrate the diversity of our people, their backgrounds and experiences and provide equal opportunity for all.