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Developing ‘Knock-Your-Socks-Off Antibodies’ That Improve the Lives of Cancer Patients

December 12, 2019
DEVELOPING ‘KNOCK-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF ANTIBODIES’ THAT IMPROVE THE LIVES OF CANCER PATIENTS

Kate Sasser, Corporate Vice President, Head of Translational Research, and her team at Genmab A/S understand how antibodies work and use this rare expertise to develop antibody therapeutics that treat solid tumors and hematological cancers. The company has 18 products in clinical development and approximately 20 pre-clinical programs, and Sasser’s team is growing, so she counts on The Chase Group to recruit the highly-specialized professionals she needs to keep pipeline development healthy and moving forward.

 

“We want to do big things and design the best science but none of it is possible without people who are the best at their jobs and bring joy to the workplace. The Chase Group feels the same way – they bring excellence and joy to their projects with us and that’s why we like working with them so much.”

Kate Sasser

– Kate Sasser
Vice President, Translational Research,
Genmab

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In the clinical and conservative world of big pharma, medical conditions, drug names, and their various potential side effects can easily overwhelm patients and lay people. This is why the vision for Genmab, as stated in its annual report, is so direct and disarming.

The vision at Genmab, simply stated, is this: “By 2025, our own products have transformed cancer treatments, and we have a pipeline of knock-your-socks-off antibodies.”

It is probably not a phrase or sentiment you would expect to hear in most biopharmaceutical research labs, but with Kate Sasser, Corporate Vice President, Head of Translational Research at Genmab, it clearly fits. Her enthusiasm for her work is both

genuine and conversational – she walks and talks the “knock-your-socks-off” credo.

She loves the science, but like all good leaders, she knows it is the passion and drive of the people behind the science that make it work.

“It’s easy to find the professional degrees, credentials, and experience, but it’s really difficult to find kind, caring, and compassionate people who really want to do difficult things like develop knock-your-socks-off antibodies,” Sasser said. “The Chase Group knows that about us, which is why they bring quality candidates to the table for every new assignment. They have a great sense for what’s important and that’s why we work with them over and over.”

 

A Global Approach To Global Recruiting Challenges

Sasser joined Genmab from Johnson & Johnson, with a mandate to build out a new translational research department at Genmab. Translational research is the key bridge between pre-clinical, animal- based research, and clinical, or human- based research.

Recently, Sasser worked with The Chase Group on three key searches for her team: Head of Data Science; Head of Pathology; and a Senior Director of Translational Research.

“The Chase Group has been great about bringing us people with relevant experience, who also have personality types that work well internationally and are comfortable working across time zones, cultures, and languages.”

– Kate Sasser, Genmab

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With its world headquarters in Copenhagen and U.S. operations in Princeton, New Jersey, Sasser notes the importance of finding globally-minded executives who fit the global culture of Genmab.

“The Chase Group has been great about bringing us people with relevant experience, who also have personality types that work well internationally and are comfortable working across time zones, cultures, and languages,” Sasser said.

Sasser also expects top candidates to be able to build out their own teams as needed. The best candidates have professional networks they can access. For example, the data science department has grown to ten people and she expects more growth in translational research and pathology, as well.

The Pains and Gains in Brief
  • Genmab designs and develops proprietary antibody therapeutics that are making a real difference in lives of cancer patients suffering from solid tumors and hematological cancers.
  • The Chase Group has successfully attracted key executives in translational research, data science, and pathology.
  • Kate Sasser, Corporate Vice President, Head of Translational Research at Genmab, enjoys working with The Chase Group because she is presented with candidates who have the experience, professional networks, and personality types that fit in well and deliver results.

“When we work with Chase, we gain access to the best people from industry giants like Amgen and Celgene,” Sasser said. “Chase knows how to engage people even when they may not be looking for a change. They are very professional and persuasive and always represent Genmab very well.”

Sasser said she is proud of the pipeline at Genmab but even more proud of the team that built it.

“We want to do big things and design the best science but none of it is possible without people who are the best at their jobs and bring joy to the workplace,” Sasser said. “The Chase Group feels the same way – they bring excellence and joy to their projects with us and that’s why we like working with them so much.”

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