Director, Alliance Management

Business Development & Alliance Management Vancouver, BC


Why Work for Us?

Innovation. Act with Integrity. Collaboration. Embrace Diversity. Care

We come from many countries, cultures, races, ethnicities, abilities and nationalities. We bring our passions including singing, biking, swimming, dancing, cooking, volunteering, parenting, coaching and much more! We are proud of our nearly equal balance of men and women and strengthened by our non-binary and transgender team members. Every employee belongs.

We offer challenging career opportunities, competitive benefits and an environment that recognizes and rewards performance.

Company Description

Zymeworks is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation bispecific and multifunctional biotherapeutics.  Zymeworks’ suite of complementary therapeutic platforms and its fully-integrated drug development engine provide the flexibility and compatibility to precisely engineer and develop highly-differentiated product candidates.

About the Position

The Zymeworks Business Development and Alliance Management team is seeking an experienced and highly motivated professional looking to take their career to the next level within our growing company. This Director role will be responsible for working at the interface between our internal cross-functional teams and our strategic alliance partners, bringing focus and expertise to maximize alliance performance, advance our corporate scientific and business goals, and enhance Zymeworks’ reputation as a pharmaceutical industry “Partner of Choice”.

This position will report to the Senior Director, Alliance Management and will preferably be based in Seattle, WA, although consideration may be given to working from Vancouver, BC.

As a condition of employment, Zymeworks requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and provide verification of such.

Key Responsibilities

Scope of Role

  • Serve as alliance manager for our partnered platform collaborations, pre-clinical and clinical development-stage programs.

Alliance Partner (External Focus)

  • Promote effective alliance management best practices between collaborating parties that yield synergies to accelerate achieving business objectives, while upholding Zymeworks core values of innovation, integrity, collaboration, embracing diversity and care.
  • Serve as the alliance primary point of contact and formal conduit between collaborating parties.
  • Manage the day-to-day alliance activities, co-chairing/facilitating joint governance activities, and ensuring successful collaboration from initiation through execution of final deliverables.
  • Oversee and manage collaboration governance and operating best practices, developing charters with clearly defined scope, membership and decision-making rights. Represent Alliance Management at other joint project team meetings.
  • Develop understanding of what each partner brings to the relationship; provide insight into how each organization works internally to effectively synergize on operational execution, and avoid delays in reaching critical decisions.
  • Track, monitor, and communicate contractual obligations, deliverables and milestones to ensure agreement terms and responsibilities are upheld.
  • Proactively identify issues and leading the resolution of conflicts while working collaboratively to minimize crisis management situations; where required elevate matters to appropriate leadership or governance committees; ensure internal alignment prior to joint decisions.
  • Implement processes to solicit partner feedback on the effectiveness of the collaboration. Identify and facilitate changes to promote more effective collaboration.
  • To facilitate the goals of the Alliance, responsibilities may require a flexible work schedule outside of standard business hours to accommodate partner time zone differences.

Cross-Functional Teams (Internal Focus)

  • Work closely with internal team members and senior leaders, and alliance counterparts to advance joint goals and deliverables.
  • Coordinate with business development, finance, legal, and corporate communications to facilitate proactive partnership management and ensure strong alignment and coordination of key business activities.
  • Develop and foster a trusted working relationship with members of the clinical development and scientific research teams. Participate in internal project team meetings to stay apprised of details and emergent concerns.
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries/confidentiality between internal project teams and partner-focused discussions where required.
  • Lead/facilitate internal stakeholder preparations for Governance meetings or other key partner engagements, ensuring that the Zymeworks perspective is appropriately aligned and communicated.
  • Actively contribute to Business Development efforts (new partnerships) through review and input to governance and operating parameters of the partnership, and review of contract drafts.
  • Lead the coordination and development of supporting partner legal agreements/amendments (existing partnerships), facilitating stakeholder engagement, timely review and execution.
  • Thoroughly understand and be able to interpret the contract terms of partner agreements; provide guidance internally to study teams, committee members, and senior management; ensure appropriate boundaries are set and upheld when decisions are made and implemented.
  • Provide transparency to Zymeworks’ leadership and relevant internal stakeholders as to the status and progress of each alliance. Proactively notify internal stakeholders when important or time-sensitive matters arise, exercising appropriate professional judgement of who to engage when.
  • May be required to present at executive levels and/or contribute to the preparation of materials for Sr. Leadership and Board reviews.

Within the Business Development / Alliance Management Team

  • Participate in later-stage review of new partner contracts and provide input to developing partnership execution terms, in particular governance structures and operational processes.
  • Ensure efficient hand-off from Business Development team members following agreement execution as a new alliance is launched; maintain open communication across BD and AM during this transitional phase.
  • Help establish and implement alliance management best practices using standard tools and approaches; ensure that alliances are managed consistently.
  • Keep an eye towards continuous improvement; seek to identify and incorporate industry best practices.
  • Share learnings across the organization; assist/mentor new or less experienced team members.
  • Participate in relevant partnering and industry conferences to represent Zymeworks; contribute to fostering a positive company reputation.
  • Contribute to realizing our BD/AM vision of developing Zymeworks as a Partner of Choice.
  • Maintain “true north” of corporate mission, values, and goals, while also demonstrating strong intrinsic motivation and ability for day-to-day self-direction.
  • Adhere to highest degree of professional standards and maintain strict confidentiality on matters that require discretion.

Qualifications and Experience

Subject Matter Knowledge

  • Graduate-level degree strongly preferred (Master’s, PhD, MBA) in biomedical sciences or other discipline related to life sciences and/or drug discovery. Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Direct experience working in the field Immunology and/or Oncology research, with an understanding of the clinical development process (IND through BLA/NDA) is highly desirable.
  • High-capacity for learning new subject matter quickly, demonstrating adaptability along career path.
  • Minimum of 12 years of relevant experience in biotech, pharmaceutical, or related scientific industry; experience in oncology and/or immunology is desirable.
  • Minimum of 10 years in a program management, partnership/alliance management role working with a diverse spectrum of external partners; career progression should demonstrate an expanding scope of complexity, responsibility, and independence.
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered. 

Alliance Management

  • Experience working with and managing cross-functional teams, including joint governance committees
  • Possess professional demeanor with ability to command respect through exercise of sound business judgment and clear decision-making. 
  • Strong facilitative leadership ability, having demonstrated examples of applying effective and diplomatic negotiation skills.
  • Able to prioritize, maintain focus and drive, amidst the noise of day-to-day challenges.
  • High emotional intelligence, with outstanding collaboration, communication and relationship management skills.
  • Adaptive leadership style with ability to strategically and operationally flex based on changing circumstances. 

Business Acumen

  • Recognized as a strategic thinker with ability to see the bigger picture, while still keeping abreast of the details
  • Maintains awareness of external factors and competition to help position internal pipeline activities for success.
  • Possesses excellent business acumen; demonstrated ability to develop/implement solutions that advance corporate and alliance objectives.
  • Solid working knowledge of legal contracts and ability to interpret and communicate terms and obligations to stakeholders.
  • Finance experience monitoring 3rd party contractual obligations, budget/invoice reconciliation and responding to audit queries.

Additional Information

  • This full-time position, while not remote, may offer some flexibility between on-site and off-site work days.
  • Travel (<20%) may be required to support key partner meetings, or between Zymeworks offices in Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, BC. 

 Zymeworks values our relationships with our Recruitment Partners. We will only accept resumes from those partners whom have been contracted by a member of our Human Resources team to collaborate with us. Zymeworks is not responsible for any fees related to resumes that are unsolicited or are received without contract.