Curating a Career: Carsten Thiel’s Purposeful Exploration of Pharma


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Through an average career cycle, one can ebb and flow with the change of tides, finding themselves accidentally in various positions. With just enough sheer luck, one may even find advancement in a given field, acquiring just enough knowledge, insight, and experience required to perform all required duties of said position. Conversely, specialized fields are sometimes graced by the presence of exceptional individuals, who seek to gain knowledge throughout all nuances related to a specific field. These individuals, purposefully in charge of their professional endeavors, relish in leveraging prior experiences into successful growth, welcoming opportunity for continued growth. Expanding their horizons through full immersion within a dedicated field, individuals who thoughtfully curate a career choose their projects carefully, and dedicate a professional lifetime to the field of their choice, providing undeniable positive change, forward movement, and overall advancement in the field.

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Within the ever-evolving field of pharmaceuticals, Carsten Thiel PhD has carefully curated his career for over twenty years, actively engaging in varying roles that would help him to fully develop his understanding of the field, enmesh his ideas, and implement changes resulting in growth. Welcoming many challenges, and even seemingly “undesirable” positions along the way, Thiel has become well versed in the development, creation, marketing, sales, and research aspects of pharmaceutical companies, and biotech giants. With an illustrious record of following his intuition, as well as strong code of ethics, Carsten Thiel has led various teams toward successful market implementation of new products, and has helped his employers to gain, earn, and retain positive reputations through thoughtful actions.

Born to medical professionals in Berlin, Carsten Thiel’s decision to enter the medical field was shaped by his mother and father’s professionals within the medical industry. An exemplary student, Thiel was intrigued with the concept of DNA throughout his youth, and confidently explored various topics related to medicine, biology, technology, and the insurmountable interweaving of all three topics. Though he initially pursued the study of chemistry in Malbrook, Thiel sought the experience of a traditional Anglo-Saxon education. Thus, he enrolled as a student in the United Kingdom’s prestigious University of Bristol. Earning a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Bristol, Thiel focused his studies in biochemistry.

Recognizing the importance of a post-undergraduate degree within his chosen field, Thiel went on to attend the highly regarded Max Planck Institute For Biophysical Chemistry, an elite research organization in Germany. There, he specialized in the study of molecular biology, and honed his interest, and research, in the presence of certain proteins within the cycle of healthy cells turning into cancerous ones. Upon receiving his PhD in Molecular Biology, Thiel found himself at a proverbial crossroads, which ultimately jump started the careful curation of his career history. At the time, Thiel was accepted to pursue post-doctoral research at Harvard University, which would have been viewed as the more traditional career trajectory. Simultaneously, he was also provided with an employment opportunity with an innovative biotech company, Hoffman la-Roche. As a leader in the industry, Hoffman la-Roche’s dedication to technological advancement within the biotechnology field drew Thiel’s interest, and ultimately led to his decision to enter the workforce directly post-matriculation with the pharmaceutical juggernaut.

As the company’s Communications and Product Manager, Thiel garnered his initial experiences related to the initial stages of product development, research, and industry relations. With extensive and pertinent knowledge gained throughout his formal studies, working in tandem with his business intuition, and highly effective interpersonal skills, Thiel was able to excel within his first foray in employment. Very quickly, he became highly regarded within Hoffman la-Roche, and his insight was sought by peers, leadership teams, and colleagues alike. As a direct result of his exceptional work ethic, and initial accomplishments, Thiel was provided with the opportunity to spearhead the company’s first product launch in the weight-loss sector, via a new product called Xenical.

At this time, though he had amassed experience in the direct marketing of product to providers, the launch of Xenical was Thiel’s first foray into product marketing for the general masses. Additionally, his newly developed role required Thiel to effectively lead an entire team, providing his marketing expertise to a team of highly regarded colleagues, often individuals older, with vastly extensive experience. While this endeavor may have proven daunting for some, Thiel harnessed the power of the potentially burgeoning learning experience, and viewed his newly developed position as an opportunity to curate his leadership style. At this time, he considered ways to effectively develop himself as a leader, and through a highly collaborative effort, garnered vastly positive feedback from peers, colleagues, and team members.

Working together, the team responsible for the successful launch of Xenical worked in tandem to find new ways of researching the market, and was able to witness the direct results of their labor in a rather short amount of time, validating young Thiel’s expertise in the realm of medical marketing. Under thirty years of age at the time, Thiel’s collaborative work allowed him to garner respect from team members, and to parlay the message that each member of the team was crucial to the project’s success.

Throughout this position, Thiel was also able to curate his career through following his convictions and ethical code, an often difficult task that he would undoubtedly face numerous times throughout his career. Realizing that his own professional reputation, as well as the long-term reputation of the company, lay in the general response to Xenical’s market launch, Thiel took great effort to carefully create a realistic message for the product. By creating a crafted message with realistic results, geared toward a specific audience, Thiel aimed to protect the reputation of the product, and its’ parent company. In doing so, a somewhat smaller initial monetary surge was to be expected. Conversely, Thiel could have marketed the product to a wider audience, promising grander results, and garnering a larger initial monetary surge. However, this method would have undoubtedly created a larger pool of unsatisfied consumers.

With weight-loss product consumers sometimes unwilling to adhere to lifestyle changes in tandem with product participation, results varied greatly. Thus, a careful approach in marketing the product to a more dedicated client base allowed for consumers to feel satisfied with the product’s results. Though a smaller audience meant lower initial sales at market launch, the immensely positive reputation gained from initial customer feedback propelled the company forward, ultimately garnering wildly impressive sales, and a trustworthy reputation. With first year sales passing one billion Swiss francs, Thiel’s marketing success cemented his convictions, and allowed him to move forward along the conscientious path of career curation.

While successful metrics play a part in the success of a curated career, being able to maintain a patient-first approach within the biomedical field remains a top priority, and an indicator of a successful career with a backbone firmly planted in the desire to help consumers lead healthy lives. Throughout his extensive career, Thiel has proven his desire to help others throughout various trying situations. During his work with a team in bringing a new colorectal cancer product to market, the research team discovered a biomarker that would prove to change the trajectory of the entire product. This newly discovered biomarker allowed medical providers to test potential clients of the product for the product’s efficacy, prior to administering the treatment. Essentially, the test would accurately determine whether the product would elicit a positive response from a patient, or prove to be wholly ineffective.

With product launch imminent, the team could have kept this information private, moving forward, as planned, with the market launch of the product, knowing that many patients would receive the treatment without a positive desired effect. While this would allow for larger initial sales, it would undoubtedly elicit lost hope in patients who did not see a positive result with treatment, and result in many patients unnecessarily spending the money needed for an ineffective treatment. By placing the interest of the patients first and foremost, the team decided to create a radical diversion from the norm in the field of oncology, and publicly reveal their findings.

Carsten Thiel recognized the opportunity to further propel his meaningful work by utilizing this opportunity to educate providers, and consumers alike, regarding the product. Essentially, Thiel’s proposal for the market launch of this product required medical providers to perform the biomarker test on each potential consumer preemptively, only recommending the product to patients who would see favorable results with the proposed treatment. Of course, this proposal required extensively training medical professionals to administer the biomarker test, acquiring a standardized and repeatable testing method, and a smaller revenue stream post-testing. However, this method provided a wholly patient-centric means of care, and allowed practitioners to provide an innovative level of care. Additionally, by understanding their positive results, the biomarker test would provide patients with an initial confidence in the imminent success of the proposed treatment.

Facing initial hesitation from some involved parties, Thiel’s proposition ultimately passed, garnered positive results overall, furthered a trust between patients and the medical community, and sparked somewhat of a revolution in the field of Oncology. Within the current climate of Oncology, Thiel’s innovative actions have led to the standard practice of providing an extensive medical work up of each patient prior to providing recommendations for treatments. This continuously patient-first approach has been curated through the actions of Carsten Thiel, and like-minded peers within the biomedical field.

From there, Thiel further curated his career through his thoughtful partnership with Amgen, where he spearheaded a comprehensive launch strategy for an innovative product dedicating to aiding women who have suffered from bone loss, and related fractures. Within the initial few weeks of product launch, Thiel began to recognize a distinct pattern, whereupon Rheumatologists were not seeing a generally desired effect for patients with bone loss, and fractures, but were rerouting the treatment for successful use via Oncologists. Calling upon his years of pertinent expertly curated experiences, Thiel recognized the need to pivot the product’s marketing strategy to reach an effective audience. Thus, Thiel was able to successfully garner new treatment for patients who have been previously overlooked for this innovative treatment, and further propel the company’s success rate, reputation, and sales.

In order to be a truly effective leader of a team responsible for various aspects of a company, Thiel understood the need to truly experience every aspect related to a company’s operations. Thus, in his quest to curate the most varied career portfolio within the realm of pharma, he took on the role of a Pharmaceutical Representative. Living in Southeast London’s Blackheath section, Thiel excelled as a GP representative for roughly one year. Representing a newly launched product in the cardiovascular sector, Thiel quickly developed empathy for his colleagues in the same role, and was able to develop strategic plans for the betterment of the entire staff, having gained perspective from a newly minted role. Throughout this role, Thiel recognized the importance of face-to-face communication, and developing personal relationships with prescribers, necessary to differentiate oneself from other pharmaceutical companies, representatives, and products.

Within the role of GP, Thiel garnered valuable firsthand insights related to the responses of medical practitioners, staff, and potential patients. He was able to pinpoint which strategies resonated with potential buyers of his products, and what presentation tactics yielded positive results. In turn, he was able to parlay this information in future positions, utilizing his firsthand knowledge to implement appropriate marketing strategies. By understanding his consumer base through face-to-face interaction as a GP, Thiel was able to leverage this insight into successful future marketing endeavors. Thus, adding this title to his crafter resume not only created a well-rounded CV, but also translated to a more meaningful understanding of yet another piece of the pharmaceutical industry.

Recently, Thiel was announced as the newly minted President Europe at EUSA Pharma, an international biopharmaceutical juggernaut. The company, which focuses on oncology and treatment options for rare diseases, assigned Thiel to spearhead the ongoing development and growth of their European commercial infrastructure. Founded in March of 2015, EUSA holds an impressive portfolio, with vast goals for continued imminent growth. Undoubtedly, Thiel’s 27+ years of thoughtfully crafted experiences have prepared him to successfully tackle the momentous task of leading the pharma giant’s Europe’s commercialization goals. Through his varied experienced in all aspects of commercial medicine, biotech, and pharmacology, Thiel has amassed a vast breadth of insight, experience, and intuition that have shaped his career, outlook, business savvy, and decision making. Purposeful in his career moves, his newest appointment will undoubtedly benefit from his carefully curated past.

Unlike some professionals, Carsten Thiel has methodically absorbed a broad range of experiences throughout his career, choosing to partake in tasks well outside of his job description for the sake of amassing a greater understanding of his field. Notably, Thiel has succeeded in each aspect of his various leadership roles, drawing upon the experiences of the past to shape the decisions of the present, and garner new opportunities for the future. He has not wandered, or floated aimlessly throughout his career. Rather, Thiel has spearheaded his own mastery, and has truly curated a career that is well rounded, impressive, thorough, and open for continued mastery, and growth.


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