close up of brain scans

Case Study

Enabling cross-departmental growth of a gene therapy biotech specialised in treatments for neurological disorders

close up of brain scans

Case Study

Enabling cross-departmental growth of a gene therapy biotech specialised in treatments for neurological disorders




Clinical Development

Clinical Operations

Medical Affairs



Business Support

Extensive experience supporting clients in the gene therapy and orphan therapeutics space means we understand how the right hire with the right knowledge in this area can positively impact your wider goals as a business.

We were engaged on an exclusive basis by a growing biotech headquartered in the US in January 2018, and were initially responsible for the build-out of their European team ahead of a major buyout.

The client had strict requirements for the hires; the majority required a solid understanding of neurosciences, experience in orphan disease drug development, and a knowledge of advanced therapy medicinal products.

Fast-tracked MAA/NDA applications with the EMA and FDA also meant there we were working under tight timelines for the appointment of the original requirements.

Project Timeline
  • Q1 2018

  • Q2 2018

  • Q3 2018

  • Q4 2018

  • Q1 2019

  • Q2 2019

  • Q4 2019

  • Q2 2020

  • Initial Engagement

    Initial Engagement

    ​SEC is engaged to work on four senior roles as the client announces 'breakthrough therapy' status with the FDA and fast-tracked EMA application.

  • Buyout Announced

    Buyout Announced

    The buyout is publicly announced and the first placements are appointed, including an Associate Director to lead the medical affairs function at EMEA level in 4 priority countries, as well as a Head of Clinical Development, an MD Consultant & Head of Clinical Operations.

  • Functional Heads Appointed

    Functional Heads Appointed

    ​We support in placing talent into their Supply Chain functions as well as a Marketing and Business Operations (EMEA) Head, as the lead clinical trial nears its endpoint.

  • Medical Directors Placed

    Medical Directors Placed

    ​Further priority markets for the client, the Nordics, Italy and Spain, see an additional three Medical Directors placed. Additional searches to increase their clinical operations function team by three heads begins.

  • FDA Approval Met, Further Study Support for EMEA

    FDA Approval Met, Further Study Support for EMEA

    ​The client announces first approval of their lead asset by the FDA, and in the EU two Study Managers are placed with Q2 start dates to lead the EMEA component of the studies and manage additional assets moving into development.

  • Heading into Commercialisation

    Heading into Commercialisation

    ​To support the commercialisation of the product throughout the EMEA region, Country Managers, KAMs, an additional Medical Information hire are all appointed. Searches commence on further roles within Public Affairs, Medical Affairs and Medical Communications.

  • Further Commercial Effort

    Further Commercial Effort

    ​We source a Reimbursement Consultant, appointed to establish the product’s reimbursement strategy in various European markets, and searches begin for hires within sales, analytics, compliance, marketing and business operations.

  • Ongoing Talent Support

    Ongoing Talent Support

    ​Additional placements are made to continue building up a team to support with product commercialisation. Throughout Q2 and Q3 placements are made in Sales, Analytics, Compliance, Marketing, Diagnostic Operations and Customer Service.

We were initially brought in to source for key positions across the EMEA region prior to the buy-out and a pivotal Phase III study. These hires included country directors, department heads and senior managers.

After a screening and shortlisting process seeking candidates with the relevant neuroscientific and orphan disease experience, interviews were held and all positions filled, with an average time of just 70 days from initial engagement to onboarding the new hire.

Our results in the initial project led to us being engaged for further support throughout the trial, including sourcing and engaging their freelance workforce, and becoming a preferred supplier of the global pharmaceutical company responsible for the buyout.

During our 3-year partnership, we have supported with the placement of 35 permanent and temporary workers and provided instrumental support in the growth of the business and the success of their Phase III trial.

32 Perm Placements, 3 Contract Placements

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