VP of Business Development (Berlin, London)

Berlin, Germany +1

As our VP of Business Development, and reporting directly to the Chief Business Officer, you will provide leadership at atai on all business development - investment, licensing and M&A activities. The goal is to ensure that we continue to build a pipeline that is in line with the corporate strategy and maximizes the chances of delivering to the mission of treating mental health disorders globally. This is expected to further develop our global partnership network and drive targeted initiatives to deepen key industry relationships and enhance our existing platform. 

Who we are:

atai Life Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel treatments for mental health disorders so that everyone, everywhere, can live a more fulfilled life. To achieve this, we are developing psychedelic and non-psychedelic compounds and cutting-edge digital therapeutic tools, and we are excited about anything that might mean a true leap forward for our patients. We operate a hybrid virtual/in-person working model, with most of the team spending 2-3 days in the office, and our hubs are located in Berlin, London, New York City, Boston and San Diego. This position is available to be remote. 

What we offer:

  • Compensation package inclusive of yearly bonus and generous stock options 
  • Annual company offsite in U.S or Europe 
  • Hub visits to our offices in Berlin, Boston, London, New York City, and San Diego
  • Hybrid work model with 2-3 days in office, and home office budget
  • Mental health wellness program, including 10 company-paid therapy sessions a year
  • Sports Club membership (Class Pass, Urban Sports Club)
  • 100% paid medical insurance for UK and 50% employer contribution for DE
  • 100% employer-matched pension scheme for DE & UK 

The specifics of your day-to-day will include:


  • Providing strategic oversight and driving BD needs (including identifying potential opportunities and prioritizing actionable leads) of the entire atai platform including subsidiary companies 
  • Leading on search activities to identify in-licensing and investment opportunities in line with atai strategy 
  • Managing deal flow across the range of BD activities and communicate it to relevant internal stakeholders effectively 
  • Leading due diligence with proper rigor for pharmaceutical and digital health opportunities while working collaboratively with other functional areas (R&D, commercial, strategy, legal, finance) 
  • Leading on out-licensing activities expected to drive value for key clinical stage programs and divestment for de-prioritized assets   
  • Driving negotiations while collaborating closely with senior members of the management team, especially, R&D, Commercial, Legal and Finance, to deliver results through sell-side and buy-side deal executions
  • Creating a strong network of key industry-leading companies and individuals, in big pharma and beyond
  • Representing atai during external calls or conferences and expand our network with industry players
  • Exploring deal structures beyond investment and co-development that help create and capture value for the platform
  • Working closely with members of the C-suite to ensure that relevant BD opportunity approvals and updates are achieved working with the atai Board of Directors and any sub-committees thereof 

What you will achieve in your first 12 months:


  • Accelerated your learning about atai, the business development activities that you are leading and have developed a good understanding of the strategic partnerships or deals that will capture value 
  • Secured early wins (via proposals) through your own negotiation and execution of potential Ph2-ready asset deals that fit our investment/BD strategy and have had also executed on at least one transaction to generate non-dilutive funding to our subsidiaries 
  • Continued to build personal credibility and align on our BD strategy creating further clarity on achievable milestones 

Qualifications / experience that we'd like to see:


  • A strong scientific background in life sciences (PhD preferred) and be able to think strategically, understand evolving business priorities and market forces to build and adapt tactics   
  • 8 -10 years in the Life Science Branch (bio/pharma/medtech, business development, alliance and/or partnership management, finance/M&A, VC/PE, investment banking, consulting, TTO or similar)  
  • A strong deal sheet demonstrating ability to deliver deals of various stages of development and size
  • An extensive network within the CNS innovation space (biotech, big pharma, digital therapeutics) 
  • Deep knowledge of business development, corporate development, or strategic pipeline experience with demonstrated track record of closing business development transactions including co-development, in/out license, equity financing, research and technology deals, co-promotions, and strategic partnerships within the pharmaceutical industry
  • Over 5 years of people management experience 
  • Strong international experience and a demonstrated ability to flex your style dependent on cultural needs 
  • Good knowledge of current affairs, business, and markets 
  • A consistent growth mindset, always looking for opportunities to learn and grow as a leader and as a human 

Who will be successful in this role:  

Those who succeed at atai will be strongly aligned with our values:


  • ❤️ Conscious Care: We take every action in service of our ultimate goal: to heal mental health disorders for all while caring for ourselves and our team.  
  • 🦸 Bold Entrepreneurship: We are “loosely coupled but tightly aligned” as we strive for excellence over perfection, fast and focused to accelerate innovation for patients.  
  • 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Collaborative Innovation: individuals and teams work together with good humor and no drama, valuing different perspectives and diversity of thought, background, nationality, and style.  
  • ✋ Radical Responsibility: We take full responsibility for our circumstances. We grow and learn from failures, always looking to improve.

Subscribe to Job Alerts