Respiratory Therapeutics

Specialist Search Expertise

The market size for respiratory therapeutics, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and cystic fibrosis, is expected to rise from $28.1 billion in 2015 to $46.6 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%¹. 

The respiratory space is alight with recent partnerships, licensing deals, acquisitions and a complex pipeline. Since December 2016, we have witnessed: AstraZeneca enter a collaboration with SenzaGen on genomic methods for respiratory allergens; Novartis out-licensing treatment rights to Sunovion Pharmaceuticals for COPD; Sanofi’s investment into an AstraZeneca drug for preventing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections; AstraZeneca’s strategic partnership with biotech Circassia focussing on its respiratory portfolio, as well as its recent acquisition of Pearl Therapeutics, the developer of inhaled small-molecule therapeutics for respiratory disease. In addition, we have also observed continued interest from the investor community, as well as a spate of respiratory spin-outs from larger players, such as NeRRe Therapeutics (GSK) and Becton Dickinson’s recent decision to spin off its respiratory devices unit into a joint venture with Apax Partners.

New Directions

Innovation and disruption are shaping this market – approval of novel biologics, significant patent expirations, increasing opportunities in areas of unmet need, including rare disease, and up and coming competition from the biotech sector are creating new challenges for the established players; gene and immunotherapy is emerging and technology is having a considerable impact.

Coulter Partners’ Specialism

  • Coulter Partners has long been servicing the talent requirements of the prominent players in this advancing space. We have successfully completed over 50 assignments for key respiratory companies, from big pharma market leaders to smaller vc-backed biotech and respiratory device, clinical support and drug delivery players.
  • Our experience extends from the most scientific roles to senior commercial and Heads of Respiratory, both in Europe and in the US.
  • Our expertise is founded on the team’s deep scientific knowledge, diverse respiratory backgrounds, global industry connections and best-in-class search methodology.

Recent Respiratory search successes at Coulter Partners

Our strong track record in the field of Respiratory disease is illustrated by the following successful search assignments; the list is intended to offer a sample of companies and is by no means comprehensive:

Corporate VP Respiratory Medicine for a large European head-quartered drug development company and market leader in respiratory diseases. The respiratory business has been a key segment of growth for the company, where such a role, in clinical development and medical affairs, was key to the company’s innovation and commercial success. Coulter Partners has successfully placed a further eighteen senior executives at this Respiratory leader and is currently working on seven assignments with them.


Director of Respiratory Medicine at a UK head-quartered listed developer of pharmaceutical therapies for the treatment of bronchopulmonary diseases. The company has eight products marketed by its partners and a portfolio of drugs in clinical development. The company also has development collaborations and license agreements with several of the “Big Pharma” players.


Head of Respiratory Therapy Area for a well-established pharmaceutical company primarily operating in three strategic areas: respiratory, pain and women’s health. In recent years our client benefitted from several purchases of corporate assets from a leading “Big Pharma” player.


Country Manager UK, Ireland & Nordics requiring candidates to bring additional leadership expertise to ensure the successful and continued market development of a novel specialty respiratory medicine in the US and Europe. The listed US biopharmaceutical company has seen considerable recent growth in this area following recent breakthroughs in its combo CF drugs.  Analysts have picked this company as one to watch in terms of market share. Coulter Partner went on to successfully place a further six executives.


CEO for a small vc-backed biotech company engaged in the research and development of novel therapies for the treatment of respiratory diseases. The company were seeking a seasoned CEO with a respiratory background and financing and deal making experience.


Chief Business Officer & Chief Development Officer for a developer of particle engineering based respiratory medicine, recently acquired by a UK-listed immunotherapy player and leader in asthma. The company uses an ultrasonics particle-engineering platform to allow combination drug particles to meet the specific requirements for inhalation therapies.

In addition:

  • VP R&D Portfolio and Performance for a global pharmaceutical company
  • VP European Business Development for a global CRO
  • Medical Director UK for a family owned European pharmaceutical company
  • CEO for a drug development organisation
  • Chief Development Officer for a biopharmaceutical company


Author: Neha Rajdev, Business Intelligence Associate


  1. Research and Markets, “Global Respiratory Drugs Market to 2022 – Pipeline and Market Characterized by Growing Prominence of Targeted Therapies, with Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis Leading the Way”, September 2016.