Working at Catenion

Working at Catenion

Career as a Biopharma Strategy Consultant at Catenion

Frequently Asked Questions

The team is composed of life scientists from multiple fields, including but not limited to Oncology, Immunology, Cell Biology, Neuroscience and Infectious Biology. The vast majority of Catenion consultants have a PhD, although it is also possible to join the team after a Master’s degree, especially with relevant biopharma experie­nce. Our consultants who are part of the Data Science Unit have additional expertise in Data Science, typically with a background in Bioinformatics or Computational Engineering. Previous consulting experience is desirable but not required.

The large consulting firms work with all kinds of industries and don’t have a particular specialization. Catenion is a boutique biopharma consulting firm, meaning it focuses solely on its niche and specialty, which is R&D strategy for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, therefore being able to provide support that is much more targeted and suitable for this industry. Our clients are pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies of different sizes, as well as patient organizations.

In a nutshell, we help our clients find the best strategies to develop new medications and bring them to patients. We put together different pieces of a larger puzzle for our clients, ask and answer relevant questions and help them make the best decisions to reach their goals. For this, we need to identify, gather and analyze large amounts of scientific and other relevant information in a short period of time, constantly making use of time management and prioritization. Aided by databases, some of which have been developed internally by our Data Science Unit team, we analyze different aspects of diseases, drugs, clinical trial results and competitor landscapes to gain meaningful insights for our clients.

A consultant’s work is project-based, which means that every few months you take on a new project, with a different client, on a different topic, and often with different colleagues in your team, which makes the job very dynamic. Because of our specialty, we work on different scientific topics and learn new things on a daily basis. The job is highly demanding, fast-paced and sometimes can be exhausting. But we truly care about what we do, and feel acknowledged and rewarded after each completed project, which makes the dedication worth it.

The topics and tasks can vary substantially from one project to another, depending on which questions we are working to answer or which goal we are trying to reach for our clients. However, below are two examples of typical projects that we run frequently at Catenion:

  • Example project 1: Our client is looking to acquire another company or in-license a drug asset to expand their portfolio. Our job is to perform a thorough screening to identify the most interesting and fitting companies or assets for the client. We go through structured steps of a funneling process (a well-established Catenion methodology called “ASAP”), starting from an exhaustive list of companies or assets, all the way to the few most promising and appropriate ones based on our client’s needs.
  • Example project 2: Our client is developing a drug for certain indications and is considering expansion to other diseases or therapeutic areas. Our job is to thoroughly identify and assess different aspects of the indications of interest (for example, unmet need, market size and R&D hurdles), as well as the potential of the client’s drug in those indications, given their current and upcoming competitors. Our findings and recommendation help our clients prioritize indications and plan the design of trials for further clinical development.

A consultant’s workday is mostly spent across performing desk research and assessments, documenting findings in presentations, as well as having meetings, both internal, with colleagues of the project team, and external, with the client’s team.

This position is meant for candidates who have expertise in Data Science and typically a background in Bioinformatics or Computational Engineering. Those who join this position have the same tasks, responsibilities and benefits as a Catenion consultant but, in addition, take part in Catenion’s Data Science Unit, helping develop and apply computational methods and integrate data analytics in our projects. For more information, visit our Data Science Unit page.

We understand that people have individual preferences, therefore we offer our team members a flexible environment. Catenion is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and our employees are more than welcome to work from the office when they prefer (Covid regulations allowing), or from home if it does not interfere with the project’s needs. In addition, in order to nurture our connections and team spirit, every two months the whole company gets together in person for team interaction and social activities.

Since the pandemic started, we have, naturally, refrained from traveling and conduct most of our meetings online. Depending on how the global situation progresses, occasional traveling might resume, for both work purposes and for company retreats.

Our working language is English. That being said, we are proud to have an international team that speaks over 15 languages!

At Catenion, we have a clear career progression: Analyst – Associate – Manager – Principal – Partner. A new team member joining after their MSc, PhD or post-doc will start as an Analyst. New joiners with significant industry experience may join as an Associate or a Manager. Every six months, career reviews take place and each consultant has the opportunity to move another step in their career towards the next position. With time and professional development, the responsibilities and work independence also increase gradually. Working in a smaller company allows you to have a larger impact and leave a bigger mark.

As a new Catenion team member, you will go through two weeks of onboarding to familiarize yourself with the company, our culture, the tools and processes we use and types of projects we work on. You will get an opportunity to apply the first learnings of our methodologies through exercises led by our experienced team members and have the chance to meet your new colleagues.

We receive numerous applications and sometimes the recruiting process can take a little while. As a general rule, we would recommend sending out your application three to six months before your preferred start date at Catenion.

Catenion welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to, members of any sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, culture, national origin, social and economic class, color, immigration status, sex, age, size, family status, political belief or religion.

Apply here:


Are you interested in working with us?

We are constantly looking for outstanding candidates to grow our diverse and international team. You should have an excellent academic record in a life science-related subject (PhD preferred), as well as great communication skills, English proficiency, and a team player personality. Having prior strategy consulting experience is helpful but not a pre-requisite. If this sounds like you, please apply directly on our Careers page.

We look forward to receiving your application!

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Katarina Ebert

HR Manager

Past & Upcoming Events

Jun 10th, 2022

Women in Big Data Berlin

 “Why networking and personal branding matter?”

Jun 14th, 2022

Career Pathways Seminar Series

Max Delbrück Center (MDC) in Berlin

Jun 16th, 2022

Myth Busting: Careers beyond Academia

GSO (German Scholars Organization e.V.)

Jun 20th, 2022

Career Talk

University of Glasgow

Jul 7th-8th, 2022

IMPRS Neuroscience Retreat

University of Goettingen

Jul 7th, 2022

EMBL Career Day

EMBL Heidelberg

Aug 31st - Sep 1st, 2022

Advanced Therapies Europe 2022

Advanced Therapies Europe, London

Catenion Agreements

The Catenion team jointly built the agreements below, with the goal to foster personal and team growth and to empower each other.


I agree to care about my collegues and to help whenever I perceive that help is needed.


I agree to cultivate a safe space: I will be honest, accountable, trusting and trustworthy.


I agree to always be open to feedback from any direction: giving & receiving with an open and positive mind & heart.


I agree to obtain a better understanding of the situation before reacting: I will first ask questions and actively listen. I will not react impulsively but reflect.
I will offer support without forcing it. I will praise in public and give constructive feedback in private.


I agree to put myself in other people’s shoes and try to understand their motivation and situation: I will be kind to others and listen. I will be aware of and respect different cultural backgrounds and personalities.
I will take the importance of emotions into consideration.


I agree to give and ask for feedback in a proactive and timely manner: I will do this as soon as possible and as late as necessary. I will give positive feedback immediately.


I agree to not engage in gossip and to hold each other accountable. Definition of gossip: Any conversation between 2 or more people that can negatively label the performance of a colleague who is not present.