Category Archives: Recruitment

Novartis snatches Amgen and BMS veteran for CMO and Drug Development Head

Wax Selection – Leaders in Pharma, Biotech & MedTech Recruitment

Dr John Tsai has been welcomed to the fold as Novartis’ new Head of Global Development and Chief Medical Officer, stepping into the role vacated by Dr Vas Narasimhan, who has since taken up the mantle of CEO at the company.

Dr Tsai will report directly to Dr Narasimhan and will also take up a position on the firm’s Executive Committee. He will commence the role on 1 May.

In his previous position, Dr Tsai served as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Medical at Amgen since May 2017, managing all clinical and medical functions across Novartis sites worldwide. In his new role, Dr Tsai’s primary remit will be the advancement of the company’s drug pipeline, while also lead ongoing transformation within its Global Drug Development organisation which is looking to better leverage advanced data sciences and digital technologies.

Before joining Amgen, Dr Tsai worked for rival pharma firm Bristol-Myers Squibb for 11 years in a range of senior roles. Most recently, he was Global Head of Clinical Development for marketed products and global clinical operations at the company, and before this he served as Chief Medical Officer, Europe, and Head of US Medical and Vice President of Cardiovascular Medical prior to that. Earlier in his career, before his stint with BMS, Dr Tsai worked at Pfizer as a cardiovascular group leader.

“I am delighted to welcome John to Novartis,” remarked Dr Narasimhan. “As we continue to reimagine drug development, his expertise across multiple therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, oncology and neuroscience combined with his background in electrical engineering will be a source of great strength for Novartis. John has a great track record in nurturing talent across clinical development, medical affairs and development operations and shares our commitment to build an empowered and inspired organisation. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Rob Kowalski for his excellent ad interim leadership of the GDD organisation.”

Discussing his appointment, Dr Tsai said: “I feel honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Novartis Global Drug Development organisation and do my part in bringing forward the company’s strong pipeline of medicines that address some of humanity’s biggest health challenges. I am also excited to work with my colleagues at Novartis to pioneer novel paradigms for drug development with data and digital technologies at the core.”


Pfizer to hang onto CEO, after 61% pay increase

Wax Selection – Leaders in Pharma, Biotech & MedTech Recruitment

Pfizer have given its Chief Executive Officer, Ian Read, a big boost to his pay packet, taking it to $27.9 million, but only in return for a commitment to stay with the company for the next year.

In addition, Pfizer have also inserted a provision that ensures Read cannot take up a position with another pharma company for a further two years after next March.

It’s not so much a golden handshake, as golden handcuffs to the role – now 65 years old, Read is eligible to retire from the company on a $15.7 million pension deal.

Pfizer’s statement on pay decision reads: “Over the last several years, the Board has been working to ensure the successful execution of its succession plan for the CEO in anticipation of his potential retirement.  Mr. Read has a strong track record of creating value for shareholders during his tenure as CEO. Accordingly, the Committee and Board believe that it is in the best interests of the company and our shareholders to ensure his continued leadership through a critical period in Pfizer’s business transformation, and to effect a smooth and seamless transition as we face both anticipated and unanticipated challenges.”

A big part of the deal is based on an $8 million special equity award, which will need to see Pfizer’s stock rise by 25% and remain at this level for 30 consecutive days. Given that Pfizer’s share price only gained 16.7% last year, this means that Read will have to find some impressive means of achieving this growth.

The company attempted to do this with its buy-in to join Merck KGaA in the development and commercialisation of Bavencio, a PD-L1 immunotherapy.

It seemed a safe bet to have a stake in the next generation of immunotherapies coming through, but even this drug has begun to struggle, with a few notable failures in the clinic.

This may put even more pressure for Pfizer to look into a big acquisition and, now that it’s repatriating offshore cash, it certainly has the balance to achieve that.


National Market Access Lead, Associate Director

Wax Selection – Leaders in Pharma, Biotech & MedTech Recruitment

Are you truly making a difference?

This is the mantra for our client who focuses on developing innovative therapies for people coping with serious diseases the world over.

If you would consider yourself to be an expert on NHS funding and access policies and have a broad background in developing and executing strategic commissioning and access plans at a National level for highly specialised products, then we would like to speak with you.

Our client is a global biotechnology company with over 40 years of heritage working across multiple specialist therapy areas.

Ideally, we are looking for somebody with a background in developing and executing market access strategies for biologic products , and who is capable of working efficiently in a cross-functional matrix environment.

You do not need to have HEOR experience, however, working knowledge of budget impact modelling would be advantageous.

Why apply?

– Highly visible position working a priority area of the business

– Autonomous position reporting into an incredibly seasoned and empowering industry expert

– Collaborative and innovation focussed business environment

– Industry leading salary and benefits package with a big focus on wellness.


– Initial telephone interview with us on application, if you decide you would like to proceed further, we would submit your details to the hiring manager for review

– The second stage would be a relatively informal first stage interview with the hiring manager to ascertain fit both sides

– If you are still interested, and the hiring manager agrees! There will be an HR interview along with a structured assessment process which will include a variety of stakeholders from the business – it is likely that the process will extend into January 2018. However, our client is keen to close the position down within the next 4-6 weeks.

To discuss this position in detail or for any further information, please contact Wax Selection on 0844 8009021.

Medical Advisor – Oncology

Wax Selection – Leaders in Pharma, Biotech & MedTech Recruitment

Are you frustrated by the silos and limitations of working in big pharma?

Would you like more autonomy and the ability to have a direct and positive impact on the medical affairs strategy for your business?

If so then you need to speak to our client! Our client is a well-established mid-size bio-pharmaceutical company with an exciting portfolio of existing oncology products as well as late stage pipeline in oncology, speciality and rare disease assets.

Due to the continued success and growth of the business two new positions have been created within the medical affairs directorate; if you are a GMC or GPhC and would like to learn more please contact me for an informal chat.

Benefits of the role:

  • Dynamic working environment
  • Bespoke career development plans – no more traditional talent frameworks
  • Competitive salary and benefits package
  • Solid research and development pipeline plus robust ‘invest to grow’ strategy
  • Collaborative culture
  • Highly autonomous position with the opportunity to impact the wider medical affairs strategy
  • Global career development prospects without the need to relocate from the UK

Ideally you will already be a final medical signatory with some experience of working on HTA submissions and new product/programme launches.

If you are keen to be part of something great, part of an innovative and nimble organisation that truly puts its people at the centre of everything to enable the business to deliver outstanding value to their customers and best in class treatments and services to their patients then apply today for an informal chat.

What next?…

  • Stage 1 would be an informal chat with us followed by a more structured face-time interview if you are interested in applying
  • Stage 2 we will submit your CV to the hiring manager – this will then be followed up with an initial informal meeting or telephone call with the hiring manager
  • Stage 3 will be a meeting in head office where you will get the opportunity to meet with several members of the business across the medical and commercial directorate

We would like to conclude the interview process this side of Christmas (2017!) to allow you enough time to start working your notice period.

To discuss this position in detail or for any further information, please contact Wax Selection on 0844 8009021.

Collegium bring in former Biogen SVP as new COO

Wax Selection – Leaders in Pharma, Biotech & MedTech Recruitment

Collegium Pharmaceutical has announced the appointment of Joseph Ciaffoni to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Collegium Pharma is a speciality company that is developing abuse-deterrent products for the treatment of chronic pain.

Ciaffoni begins the new role effective immediately. He brings with him a broad range of experience from different pharmaceutical companies, having worked at six different pharmaceutical companies in the preceding 15 years. He occupied the role of President of US Branded Pharmaceuticals for Endo Pharmaceuticals prior to joining Collegium and held roles at Biogen for over 4 year, performing the role of Senior Vice President of its Global Speciality Medicines Group when he left.

Speaking on his appointment, Ciaffoni explained his decision to join the company: “Opioid abuse and misuse is a significant problem across the country [US], at the same time that chronic pain patients are seeking effective treatments.  I believe that Xtampza ER can be a critical part of the solution.  I’m excited to join Collegium at this important point in the company’s evolution”.

“We are excited to have Joe join Collegium in this newly created role,” said Mike Heffernan, Collegium’s CEO. “Joe’s industry experience is extensive and includes building commercial businesses, leading emerging growth and multi-national organizations and achieving success across multiple therapeutic categories, including pain management. Joe has a proven track record of success across multiple product launches and the commercialisation of numerous products.”


Wax Selection Launches new website!

Wax Selection – Leaders in Pharma, Biotech & MedTech Recruitment

The new Wax Selection website was officially launched today and promises to offer something different when it comes to recruitment.

‘We want to give our candidates and clients a great experience when using our website, and the revamped site is faster and simpler to navigate, making it quick to find the right opportunity and to apply for jobs,’ explains Jürgen Würfel, Commercial Director. ‘It also has a bold and unique design which we are confident our visitors will enjoy.’

Alongside the new desktop website, Wax Selection has also introduced a mobile version of their online presence, designed specifically for smartphones.

Jürgen Würfel says, ‘Research clearly shows that jobseekers are using mobile devices more and more when searching for and applying for jobs. This has been difficult in the past, as mobile devices simply resize traditional desktop websites to fit the smaller screens, making them difficult to see and to navigate.

‘To overcome this, we have launched our revolutionary Wax Mobile service which gives smartphone users a special mobile version of Wax Selection. This has been specifically designed for smartphone screens, making navigation, searching and applying for jobs quick and easy, no matter where you are.’

The Wax Selection website can be viewed at using a desktop, smartphone or tablet.

Twelve Reasons Not to Accept a Counter-Offer from your employer

Wax Selection – Leaders in Pharma, Biotech & MedTech Recruitment

(Not all of these apply in every situation, but some will always develop.)

  1. What type of company, or people, do you work for if you have to threaten to quit or resign before they give you what you are worth?
  2. Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? It’s usually your next raise early. All companies and people have strict salary guidelines and budgets to consider. They get paid more when they keep the budget low.
  3. Your company may immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price or someone they will have to pay as much as they have offered you.
  4. You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on your loyalty will always be in question.
  5. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who was loyal and who wasn’t.
  6. When times get tough, your employer may begin the cutback with you.
  7. The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future even if you accept a counter offer.
  8. Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go within one year is extremely high.
  9. Accepting a counter offer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride knowing that you have been underpaid for a number of years.
  10. Once the word gets out the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never be the same. You will lose the personal satisfaction of peer-group acceptance.
  11. Recruiting someone to take your place will possibly require a salary about what you have now been offered, time and money lost while finding your replacement and bringing them up to speed, possibly a fee to a recruiter or for ads, and taking valuable time to recruit someone whether through a recruiter or internal sources.
  12. When you resign, you have created a “crisis” situation in your boss’s mind. The boss immediately feels:

a) Rejection

b) Dejection

c) Sense of loss

d) Sense of failure (He did think he could keep you on board for less money than he now offers.)

e) Anger

Remember. With your boss feeling this way, he usually has only one thing in mind. That is – keep you on the payroll until he can find your replacement.

Again, not all of these reasons apply in every situation, but some will always manifest.


Wax Selection to launch Animal Health Division

Wax Selection – Leaders in Pharma, Biotech & MedTech Recruitment

October 2012 will see Wax Selection further expand their Health portfolio by launching an Animal Health Division.

As a trusted resourcing partner to their Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Devices clients, Wax Selection are launching a new Animal Health Division to further support partner organisations in this specialist sector.

Focussing on Commercial and Scientific roles, Wax Selection will provide expert resourcing support to Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Devices companies who provide pharmaceuticals, vaccines, consumables and health services to Veterinarians, Government and Farmers for Livestock, Pets and Wildlife.

Wax Selection Animal Health will feature the recognisable ‘Veterinary Green’ branding which will differentiate it from the ‘Bold Red’ currently associated with it’s current traditional Pharma, Biotech and Medtech divisions.

Jurgen Wurfel, Commercial Director says ‘We are delighted to launch this new division and further support our customers with bespoke resourcing solutions in the Animal Health sector. As leaders in healthcare search and selection we see this new division as a natural progression’