Stefan Zillikens

A 20-year veteran in the pharmaceutical industry, Stefan brings first-hand experience managing all stages of a product lifecycle from early launch planning, through mature brand innovation, to Loss of Exclusivity Optimization (LOE). Based on his strong scientific background, Stefan is able to define the precise product positioning and target patient profile(s) that form the foundation for a successful product commercialization strategy.

His industry experience – spanning senior positions in a small biotech to regional and global responsibilities for both mid-size and top 10 pharmaceutical companies – have taught him that the successful transformation of a medical scientific asset to a commercial success consists of equal parts of building internal commitment and external education/buy-in across many diverse stakeholders.

Having managed numerous strategic projects, Stefan has learned to create alignment across internal functions, such as clinical development, regulatory affairs, and market access/reimbursement, around the needs of the customer. It requires teamwork and commitment to develop the fact-based, realistic, and comprehensible business cases for all stakeholders: patients, physicians, payers, and regulatory agencies … as well as company management/shareholders. Scarce resources and stiff competition on both the manufacturer and customer side, can derail any project if one critical stakeholder group does not buy in.

Based on this philosophy, Stefan has successfully led cross-functional teams to complete complex, international projects: from product launches to loss of exclusivity optimization, from market access, pricing, and sales / promotional strategy to operations, and from blockbuster brands to Orphans, specialty products, branded generics, and OTC products. His passion for helping senior executives make critical business decisions with a deep understanding of the customer’s point of view continues to motivate his work.

His career started at Amgen Germany in Market Research, followed by European Marketing roles within the Rheumatology and Anemia franchise, before moving into a global position at Nycomed / Takeda managing the LoE of its major brand within GI. His past years, Stefan spend at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, building its EU presence prior to its acquisition by Merck, where he was part of the Global Antibiotic Franchise.

Stefan holds a Ph.D. in cardiac physiology from Ruhr University Bochum, and a Master in Pharmaceutical Medicine from Witten Herdecke University. He graduated in Pharmacy (M.Sc.) at Semmelweis University.