Taragenyx Ltd


VP – Commercial Development – Secure series A funding round and accelerate commercialisation

Taragenyx is a pioneering start-up in the field of restorative implant solutions for the orthopaedic and dental markets.

The company has developed a patented technology that is set to bring significant benefits to patients in this £15bn global market and has already received support from market leading organisations.

Based in Glasgow and established in 2012 by experienced industry executives, Taragenyx had secured significant investment that enabled the expansion of the team and the commencement of trials. The revenue model challenges the norm through early commercial wins, creating scope to grow a global organisation and build a new future in healthcare.

With fundraising about to get underway for a $7m series A round, the business was looking to grow its highly entrepreneurial team; with the objective of bringing the dynamism of a tech start-up to a medtech business by attracting eminently credible and successful individuals from the world of healthcare.

The next phase of that strategy was for Taragenyx to appoint a world-class VP Commercial Development with a suitably strong track record in customer development and dealmaking to accelerate the commercialisation of their products and maximize the long-term success of the company’s future pipeline.

The challenge

Taragenyx is not a traditional medical technologies company; it moves at start-up speed with a commitment to building a highly entrepreneurial and motivated team to help the business achieve its ambitions. Therefore, it was imperative for us to find them someone that fitted this unique culture.

Furthermore, the role was seen as critical in securing the series A funding round; meaning it required someone with an appetite for risk, a vision for the opportunity and the experience to turn it into a reality.

Finding this rare profile required an entirely bespoke recruitment strategy that would identify a suitable pool of candidates. It was then crucial that the scope of the opportunity was presented to the candidates effectively, in order to engage with them and capture their interest.

“Finding exceptional people is a team effort, and Intramezzo worked as a team of virtuosos right out the gate. I would highly recommend them as a venture backed team executive search firm and really look forward to working with them again”

Iain McDougall, CEO, Taragenyx

What we did

Working closely with the company, the first step was to define the role and ideal candidate, drawing up a detailed specification that would form the ‹working document› for all parties. This covered strategic and operational requirements, role interdependencies, required competencies and high performance behaviours.

Once this had been agreed, the next stage was to define a strategy that would leave “no stone unturned” in an extensive international search. This project demanded a truly multi-faceted approach that comprised harnessing the talent, knowledge and connections within our own network; and deploying a bespoke search or “headhunt” exercise.

This latter activity saw our in-house research team set about investigating the key markets most relevant to our client: identifying, approaching and profiling over 100 individuals.

Whilst Taragenyx is based in Scotland, the business has global ambitions. Recognising this, we decided that geographical boundaries should not restrict the search – leading to us speaking with candidates in the US, mainland Europe and all over the UK.

From this, Intramezzo submitted a shortlist of five exceptionally strong potential candidates for Taragenyx to interview.

In our experience, candidates – when presented with the right opportunity – will consider relocating. This was true of the final selected candidate who relocated from the Netherlands to Scotland.

The outcome

After a careful selection process, Taragenyx made the decision to appoint Onno Visser – an experienced business development executive with a track record of global leadership and commercial operating experience that spans more than 10 years.

Mr Visser had extensive experience of commercial development, product management, and global expansion of orthobiologic coatings and implant products across various therapeutic areas. He had, most recently, served as Head of Sales & Marketing for Cam Bioceramics; Europe’s leading provider of orthobiologic materials and implant coating services.

On accepting the role, Mr Visser decided to relocate to Scotland from the Netherlands. Speaking on the appointment of Mr Visser, Iain McDougall (CEO of Taragenyx) said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Onno joining the team at such a pivotal time. Having successfully completed our most recent trials, we are rapidly gaining significant customer traction both here in Europe and in the USA. I am confident that the addition of Onno’s leadership and commercial knowledge further strengthens our overall investment proposition ahead of our forthcoming Series A funding round.

We at Intramezzo wish all parties every success going forward.

“For a venture backed company, the quality of the team and the way they work together are two of the most crucial success factors. For those of us at the earliest stages, finding those few who really can bend reality and build a new future can be an exceptionally tough job. Everyone says hire A players, but with help from Intramezzo – we actually do it. Intramezzo worked very closely with us to shape the brief and gain a deep understanding of our unique company culture, then continued to work alongside us to get the best results – and fast. The fact that we were able to complete this search in its entirety in fewer than eight weeks is a real testament to Intramezzo’s thorough knowledge of the venture backed industry and their insights into the uniqueness of the people often required.”

Iain McDougall, CEO, Taragenyx