Case Study:


The Client:

Pre-clinical, immuno-oncology company developing novel therapies to enhance anti-tumour immune responses, with very compelling and differentiated approach within the immuno-oncology field.

The Objective:

To recruit a Chief Scientific Officer for the company as it moves forward with pre-clinical and clinical development of the pipeline and evaluates strategic possibilities for development in new therapeutic areas. The person recruited needed to have expertise in a niche branch of the immuno-oncology field, able to influence the stakeholders and be culturally aligned with the current team operating in the virtual mode. The client had previously worked with another recruitment partner who had been unsuccessful.

The Search Approach:

  • Conducted client’s assessment including technology, targeted diseases, publications, patents, drug discovery and development pipeline, financial trajectory and built the case and proposition as well as candidate profile.

  • Interviewed CEO and evaluated the company’s strategy, leadership, culture, funding and sustainability. Clarified requirements specific to the CSO role and opportunities it creates. Influenced re-evaluation and modification of core requirements.

  • Clarified with the client the extent of prior recruitment efforts, assessed its impact on the market and designed communication strategy taking into account prior engagements and discussions.

  • Defined 7 important parameters and devised a bespoke matrix of competencies for assessing the CSO candidates.

  • Performed systematic and extensive research of the international pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic community and mapped where requisite talent and the desired niche scientific expertise might exist.

  • Systematically engaged with a vast cohort of candidates, including existing CSO level and below. Assessed the knowledge of niche biology and mapped core competencies against the established matrix.

  • The long list of 15 exceptional candidates (40% women candidates) was discussed with the client, and the shortlist of 6 candidates was delivered.

The Outcome:

Successfully delivered a diverse cohort of senior experts in the niche branch of immuno-oncology and worked with the client to select the best candidate. The appointed CSO was chosen for his deep and unique scientific expertise. The candidate was selected because his professional experience was both broad and deep in research and translational development, acquired over many years in academic, clinical and industry roles. This reputable immunologist offered the very best experience the company needed to advance its innovative work. The appointed CSO later succeeded the CEO.