Meet our people: Allen Downs

Allen is the Senior Business Development Lead at Mundipharma International Limited and has previously enjoyed an extensive career in pharmaceutical business development overseas. Here he gives insight into some of the attractions of Mundipharma as an employer, and Cambridge as a place to live and work.

Q: Can you tell us more about what you do for Mundipharma?

A: I search the world for technologies and products of interest to the Mundipharma network of independent associated companies. My immediate backyard and hunting ground is Europe, but we also heavily rely upon innovation that happens elsewhere that we can effectively develop and bring to the market for the patients in our markets of interest.

Q: In your experience, how does the business development function differ at Mundipharma in comparison to other pharmaceutical companies?

A: At Mundipharma we are more relationship focused than we are transaction focused; we ensure a relationship is nurtured throughout its business development stages. As a network, we also look at businesses differently and question: is there an opportunity to be had, a product that people want that we can deliver? Can we get a return on the risk that we will take in developing/commercializing those products that makes sense for us as an organization?

Q: What attracted you to join Mundipharma and relocate to Cambridge?

A: It was a great opportunity for me to ‘leap the pond’ and bring some of my experience to a very refreshingly different and dynamic organization. Being able to see how our medicines enhance a patient’s quality of life was my early motivation, and I continue to feel that. The team in Cambridge was also one of the most attractive things; it’s the people you work with every day that makes you enjoy your job and want to get out of bed in the morning.

Q: How would you describe the city’s character?

A: I’ve travelled the world in my work and had the chance to sample where I might like to settle. I’ve had the fast-paced big city experiences, the suburban experiences and I find Cambridge is a lovely balance of both. It’s a nice, small city, but has a huge amount to offer in terms of access to culture, sports events, music and general city life. The richness of the city in an incredibly small package is truly remarkable. I’m also a runner and Cambridge is a lovely place to run or cycle.

Mundipharma supported the transition for both me and my wife so we could set up family life in the UK. They made the relocation as easy as possible, providing us with a personal relocation team. It was comforting to know that expert advice was on hand every step of the way.