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, 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. New joiners in their first 6 months at Catenion are expected to work in the office daily.

We conduct most of our meetings online. Occasional traveling might happen, 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. 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.

At the moment, we hire exclusively for positions in the Berlin office and have a strong preference for people who are willing to relocate to Berlin or live in Berlin already.

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

Career & Recruiting Events

Nov 7
, 2024

Berlin PostDoc Day 2024

in Berlin (Humboldt Graduate School)
Oct 17
, 2024

ScieCon 2024

in Berlin (Estrel Congress Center)
Jul 16
, 2024

Consulting Career Talk

McNab Centre for Cancer Innovation, CRUK Scotland Institute

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.

Catenion Arno Heuermann 2

Arno Heuermann

Arno Heuermann is a founding Partner of Catenion who lives in Berlin, Germany. Arno has ten years of experience as CEO and COO. He has managed companies in Germany, France and Luxemburg.

While working on his degrees, Arno founded a technical engineering office in 1994. He continued to follow the entrepreneurial path in 1998 by founding Biopsytec GmbH, a DNA diagnostics company focused on agriculture, heading the company for more than five years as Managing Director.

In 1999, he co–founded Epigenomics AG, a public biotech company focused on DNA methylation, later remaining as an advisor and member of the firm’s Supervisory Board.

In August 2000, Arno orchestrated the founding and financing of Biopsytec Holding AG, thus merging Genious SA and the QTL AG and Biopsytec GmbH. He managed Biopsytec Holding AG for the next three years before helping launch Catenion in 2003. Since that time, he has been Catenion’s chief operating officer.

Arno holds a diploma degree in process engineering from the Technical University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. In addition, Arno attended the Berlin business school for Industrial Engineering and Management.

He is experienced in the diverse practices of patent management and has made numerous successful inventions.

Arno Heuermann is married and has two children. He is a lover of classical music, country life and horseback riding.

Catenion Matthias Krings

Dr. Matthias Krings

Matthias Krings is a founding Partner of Catenion.

He has worked for international pharma, biotech and medtech organizations on a variety of topics. Matthias works with clients on developing corporate and R&D strategies, identifying new areas of opportunity, tailoring asset and company searches for BD&L and M&A, maximizing the value of existing assets through therapeutic expansion, and prioritizing R&D portfolios. Matthias is also responsible for the creation and delivery of bespoke client education programs in the Catenion Academy.

Before co-founding Catenion in 2003, Matthias was a consultant at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) and later joined a strategy consulting boutique, Theron.

Matthias holds a diploma and a doctorate degree in Biology from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. His PhD work was supported by a scholarship from the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Foundation for Basic Research in Medicine. Matthias made significant scientific contributions to the field of human evolution, published in Krings et al., Cell 1997: Neandertal DNA Sequences and the Origin of Modern Humans. His PhD supervisor Svante Pääbo was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2022 “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution”.

Matthias lives in Munich. He enjoys cooking, gardening, water sports and traveling.

Catenion Christian Elze

Christian Elze

Christian Elze is a founding partner of Catenion and has been developing the company’s business in Japan since 2008. He holds a BSc from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Columbia University.

As of January 2024, Christian is moving to a role of Senior Partner Emeritus; while continuing to look after selected clients and projects, he is reducing his time spent with the company; he has accepted positions as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Recordati in Milan and a Board Observer of Pangea Biomed in Tel Aviv.

Christian is working with companies, universities and governments in the field of biomedical innovation. In his work, Christian is focusing on how emerging technologies and translational research are re-shaping the respective roles of funding agencies, investors, biopharma companies and academia in the research and development of new drugs.

Besides his consulting work, Christian frequently speaks about Emerging Technologies, Healthcare Reform, Pricing & Reimbursement,  Biomedical Innovation, as well as Translational Research at industry conferences and universities in Japan, the US and Europe.

Christian is a fluent speaker of English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish and divides his time between London and Alto Paraiso de Goias in Brazil.

Catenion Markus Thunecke compressed

Dr. Markus Thunecke

Markus has written several Catenion Commentaries including “Risk Profiles of Corporate Portfolio Strategies” as well as “Elements of Winning Strategies in R&D”, “Recombinant Innovation Management (RIM) – How to Stimulate Breakthrough Innovation within Large R&D Organisations”, “Recombinant Portfolio Management – Recognising and Enabling Innovation”. He also co–authored “Zero Base R&D” and “The Challenge for Japan’s Pharmaceutical Top Twenty”. All of them are part of Catenion’s “Shaping Pharmaceutical Strategy” series that focuses on high-profile issues for the industry.

Markus Thunecke is a founding Senior Partner of Catenion who lives in Berlin, Germany. Markus started his consulting career in 1997 at Mercer Management Consulting before joining a strategy consulting boutique, Theron, and setting up Catenion in 2003.

Markus has helped numerous clients around the globe in the pharmaceutical and medical products industries create competitive advantage. In addition to his work on strategy, Markus specialises in developing leading–edge analytical tools and combining them with organisational development capabilities. Markus is the developer of a number of Catenion’s proprietary tools for portfolio management and risk assessment. In recent engagements, Markus has helped clients develop and realign their R&D strategies, review their discovery and development portfolios, and create organisational models that foster innovation.

Markus is a frequent speaker at conferences on R&D strategy and portfolio management.

He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Heidelberg, where he generated transgenic animal models for Alzheimer’s disease. He also has three years of research experience within the CNS field at Schering AG.