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Lifescience market segments

lifescience and pharma

Although the biotech industry is facing a slight reckoning last year. There is a high number of innovative start-ups and established companies that currently are making waves. In this dynamic and fast-paced Start-up and emerging company environment, it is essential that right high-quality C-Level and Board of Director (BoD) professionals are found fast. Given personal expertise in the life sciences and startup environment, W&P is the best partner to understand the unique needs at different development stages.

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lifescience and pharma
Pharmaceutical Industry

During everyone’s life, medical issues will occur. One of the biggest threats to global health is Antibiotic resistance. It can affect anyone, of any age, in any country and is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. New drugs to treat common infectious diseases are needed. Our focus is on supporting and guiding the search of the C-level and BoD professionals to ensure sustainable growth and fighting the emerging health threats.

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Medical technology (MedTech) encompasses medical devices and technologies for diagnosis, monitoring, or treatment of diseases and medical conditions. MedTech companies must transform and evolve fast from applying ad-hoc digital capabilities to designing and implementing a differentiating digital strategy. Given the extraordinary strengths of W&P in both technology and Life Sciences makes us the perfect partner complement all C-Level or BoD positions.

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lifescience and pharma
Diagnostics & Laboratory

Since the new In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR) was implement in 2022, manufacturers, laboratories, and hospitals are facing novel challenges in meeting IVDR compliance. Finding the best professionals for your C-level team and board of directors is key to ensuring that all performance evaluation and post-market requirements are reached.

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Hospital 2.1 (1)
Hospital Medicine

Hospital Medicine is a medical specialty dedicated to the delivery of comprehensive medical care to hospitalized patients. Practitioners of hospital medicine include physicians (“hospitalists”) and non-physician clinicians who engage in clinical care, teaching, research, and or leadership in the field of general hospital medicine. As hospitalists improve care for hospitalized patients, they are at interface of healthcare and life sciences with a key role.

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Pharmacy 2 (1)
Pharmacy, Alternative & Lifestyle Medicine

Besides the treatment of diseases, prevention is an essential pillar of healthcare. Pharmacy is a driving force behind an efficient and high-quality health care system, providing patients with fast access to innovative therapies, the best possible care, and state of the art prevention. They combine and promote an environment that delivers best in class healthcare and prevention to patients and individuals.

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Veterinary 3.1 (1)
Veterinary Medicine

Animals are humans’ best friends and take a particularly eminent position in many of our lives. The medical specialty concerned with the prevention, control, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases is no less important than the one for humans. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry, veterinary medicine is a growing market and is facing similar challenges. Therefore W&P is dedicated to completing your executive team and BoD.

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lifescience and pharma
Agricultural Chemistry

Agricultural chemistry is an important part of the global agriculture industry. The agricultural chemical industry is an important aspect of modern agriculture worldwide. Since the green revolution began in the 1930's, agricultural chemistry has become a mainstay in global agriculture. Likewise other industries, they are facing novel challenges in meeting novel regulations and being compliant with novel laws as a global phenomenon.

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Challenging disease areas for Drug Development


Cancer treatment remains a significant challenge despite important advances in chemo-, radiation-, hormonal- immune- and targeted therapies. As a result of therapeutic advances some tumours have transitioned from having a very poor prognosis to becoming manageable diseases. However, there a number of solid tumours with poor initial response or loss of response to current treatment regimens. The regulatory path for new drug approval is well-versed with tailoring of new options such as the use of minimal-residual-disease or metastatic-free-survival as therapeutic advances are achieved for certain tumour types. Exploration of therapeutic targets for the tumour microenvironment (TME), both cellular and extracellular, is playing an important role in understanding cancer treatment resistance in tumours with strong protective stromal signatures and which carry some of the worst prognoses (e.g. pancreatic adenocarcinoma, ovarian cancer, glioblastoma). Additionally, observation of the influence of chemo- and radiation therapy on the TME is shedding important light on potential mechanisms for the loss of tumour response to treatment.



The scientifically driven task of developing disease modifying therapy In the areas of neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer´s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the Leukodystrophies and Huntington’s disease, remains extremely challenging. Although the scientific effort is producing some important breakthroughs in discovery; the pathobiology of these diseases is complex and defining a clinical trial design for testing new drug therapies that can clearly demonstrate clinically meaningful improvement using validated clinical trial endpoints is a significant challenge. This effort requires collaboration with Regulatory Authorities in carving out approval paths that meet the unmet need. Precautionary data collection in support of surrogate biomarkers that can predict clinical benefit, if available in time, may alleviate some of the strain on timelines and cost for testing of therapies in, sometimes large, pivotal Phase III trials. For disease areas where there is no established regulatory path, conducting groundwork in validating reliable tools for measurement of meaningful clinical benefit in and gaining an understanding of the heterogeneity of disease course across patient populations, is fundamental to moving the field forward in getting novel therapeutics to patients of high unmet need.


Immunology & Haematology

Moderate to severe inflammatory chronic diseases brought about by autoimmune or immune mediated disorders including the arthritis (e.g. rheumatoid, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthropathy), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), psoriasis, multiple sclerosis (MS), inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis) all require manipulation of the immune system to control the inflammation and modify the disease with the aim of preventing irreversible end-organ damage. There is a fine balance in avoiding intercurrent serious infection while modulating the underlying inflammatory process. A high benefit:risk ratio is the objective for novel therapies that are more targeted in controlling inflammation accompanied by a lower risk for serious infection. Improvements in patient immune profiling at both the cellular and molecular level through further understanding of the disease pathobiology will enable a more personalized approach to therapy. in addition, continued development of clinical trial endpoints in the diseases that require more objective quantifiable clinically relevant measurement tools will support the development of safer and effective therapies in these challenging disease areas where heterogeneity in patient populations is a factor.


Cardiovascular & Metabolism

The cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOT) conducted in the past decade have been dominated by safety studies for new therapies in the treatment of patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Encouragingly, the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and the long-acting glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA) showed cardioprotective benefits in addition to improvements in glucose control. Despite, major advances in the management of risk factors for CVD over the past 3-4 decades with a selection of effective lipid-lowering agents, antihypertensives, glucose lowering drugs in addition to healthy lifestyle modifications, CVD remains the leading cause of death worldwide. There are several confounding factors influencing this observation ranging from non-compliance with, to lack of access to, long term medication and lack of lifestyle changes. The traditional CVOT of previous years are necessarily very large to demonstrate a clinically meaningful benefit over standard of care and therefore, time consuming and expensive to operationalize.

Development Stages in the Life Sciences Companies

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There is no single winning scheme or blueprint for BioTech Startups to mature successfully, and blueprints alone cannot provide success. Based on our experience BioTechs that mature successfully are those where the management team makes strategic decisions early on (Setting priorities and collaborations, keep always the focus on the market, pursue timelines). W&P understand the requirements and needs of a BioTech to scale into a maturing company. We support life sciences companies with experienced C-Level and BoD profiles for the specific stage.

Emerging and innovative life sciences companies are focusing on their technology and IP. Nonetheless, they must from the very first day identified a well-defined market and being able to pursue timelines.

Diversifying the R&D pipeline through assets, clinical programs and therapeutic areas is crucial to be able to scale the company.

De-risk the business and supporting growth with licensing and product sales are the key element for a sustainable expansion.

Besides revenue generation, it is essential for companies that they are able to diversify their R&D pipeline and sustain their innovation.

As headhunters with expertise in the Life Sciences & Healthcare industry, our clients range from start-ups in the most preliminary stages, to local boutique players, Swiss-based market leaders, through to large, well-known international companies in both the public and private sectors.
The Life Science clients that we serve encompass organisations in wide-ranging sectors:

  • General Management
  • Commercial Pipeline, Commercial, Sales & Marketing 
  • Product Management
  • Quality Management
  • Digitalization
  • Research and Development
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain Managment
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Medical Liaison
  • Market Access
  • Biotechnology
  • Medical Devices and Diagnostics
  • Laboratory Diagnostics & Techniques
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Contract Research Organizations (CROs)

Within the field of the life sciences and healthcare, like several businesses, there are many challenges. What is specific to the Healthcare Industry is the involvement of patients with significant unmet medical need in which environment there is an extra level of performance required regarding safety and efficacy that is regulated to varying degrees by independent Regulatory Authorities regardless of whether the end-product is a therapeutic, diagnostic, robotic intervention or digital wearable.  These aspects of the Healthcare Industry bring with it an element of complexity that requires an experienced, talented pool of people with the appropriate skillset capable of handling ambivalence, uncertainty, complications, stakeholder issues and risk:benefit ratios in the context of human health. Each one of these challenges requires diverse leadership capabilities.

The way in which the leadership roles are defined is constantly adjusting, with new job progressions and structures emerging as technological advances progress.  It is essential to find the appropriate, dynamic leadership to succeed in this environment.

Executive Search
Wirz & Partners as leading executive search firm is using experienced specialists with an in-depth understanding of the scientific processes and cross-functional nature of the business is required to provide guidance to company leadership in making clear what skills, attributes and values are required going forward.

Wirz & Partners utilise their expert team / Headhunters to reach deep into the industry in both a local and global manner. It is in large part this headhunting experience and expertise that allows our specialists to recognise the exact criteria required by the best leaders. A large number of our headhunters gleaned their information and experience first-hand within the industry as former top executives and as such we have an unparalleled confidence in their insight. We are able to leverage their international experience, especially in emerging areas of innovative specialization, to execute upon multiple Healthcare and Life Science engagements successfully and efficiently.

Customer Satisfaction
Our satisfied clients include not only some of the more prominent and well-known pharmaceutical companies but also include innovative companies in Biotech, MedTech, Digital Health and Data Mining start-ups in Switzerland and abroad.

Thanks to our market leading executive search activity, we have successfully placed top executives and industry specialists  across a breadth of the industry. From our headhunter experience it is clear that one of the key components to delivering success within the Life Science and Pharmaceutical industries, particularly in the current transitory period, is having the right leader in the right place at the right time. We help the organisations that we work with to hire and retain the best leaders for the job to ensure that the organisations we work with remain prepared for the future.


There is a long list of organisations and businesses that consider our advice and input as theirs mentors and executive search advisors essential to planning their future business in addition to identifying trends within leadership and management. These are relationships and experiences that provide us with unique insights into business needs and requirements. We are able to draw upon the wide range of experience of all of our specialists in a collaborative manner to deliver the best leadership consultation and functional practices consistently and effectively every time. More and more frequently our differentiation is data driven, analysis of which provides us with the requisite advantages to predict the market and future trends. We use this knowledge to garner our unique insights and proactively look at data from stakeholder surveys, use knowledge of executive moves and apply this to the many candidates and assignments that we monitor constantly.


Wirz & Partners are a prominent and well-respected Market Leader in the field of headhunting and executive search. Our clients are very important to us and our commitment to them and their business means that we pledge to provide experienced executive search specialists, with access to industry leading processes and methodology.  This enables clients to move their business forward on making talent acquisitions with the appropriate fit for their specific needs.

For the Pharmaceutical and Contract Research Organisation industries, Wirz & Partners know that success in the future relies on present day innovative ideas and strategies.  In order to achieve this, companies need to hire the best people with the talent and skill set to lead on the cutting edge.   Wirz & Partners use innovative and best-practice-management in recruitment in the support of companies meeting their business goals. For any company leaders in this field it is important that they have the networking, influence and negotiation skills required to manage all stakeholder and business interests successfully, even when these interests don’t seem immediately compatible.  A key advantage of Wirz & Partners is our ability to stay ahead of the growth momentum and dynamic change that characterizes this challenging, fast-evolving and competitive field and to understand that potential leaders who have the motivation, talent and skill to achieve great results with the support of their team are in short supply.