Executive Director or Vice President of Translational Biology and Drug Discovery Back to Careers

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Based in San Diego, CA, Escient Pharmaceuticals is a start-up biotech company strategically focused on unleashing the therapeutic potential of a novel family of specific orphan GPCRs, Mas-Related G-Protein Receptors (Mrgprs), for a broad range of therapeutic indications. We will initially pursue drugs for neuro-immuno-inflammatory and pseudo-allergic or autoreactive diseases. Our diverse team at Escient shares a passion for discovering and developing therapies for underserved patients that will positively change the course of their health and well-being.  In addition, we embrace a unique and highly sought-after culture of authenticity, open communication, transparency, integrity, mutual respect, and freedom to brainstorm and share one’s thoughts and ideas at every level. 

Of immediate need to Escient is an Executive Director or Vice President of Translational Biology and Drug Discovery to join our Research team. The ideal candidate must be an outstanding leader with a proven track record of success in delivering drug development programs through IND into the clinic.

The candidate must be a seasoned and accomplished translational biologist skilled at designing, planning, executing and interpreting complex studies relating to the triggering of an immune, pseudo-allergic, and neurological responses, both in vivo and in translational models of human disease.

The candidate will be focused on identifying small molecules within a range of therapeutic indications, including pruritis, lacrimation, asthma, neuropathic pain, and inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, urticaria and IBS/IBD.

In addition, the candidate should have strong organizational and communication skills, capable of strategically communicating to upper management, summarizing data, compiling progress reports, and effective cross-functional communication.

The successful candidate will manage a team of experienced neuroscientists, immunologists, in vitro and in vivo pharmacologists and will be expected to exhibit strong supervisory skills in addition to providing strategic direction and guidance to the team. The candidate must be comfortable with, and thrive in, a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment which necessitates a hands-on approach at all levels.

RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:

  • Leadership of drug development teams focused on identifying small molecules within a broad range of therapeutic indications;
  • The design, planning, execution and interpretation of complex studies, utilizing in vivo and translational models of human disease;
  • Advancement of drug development programs successfully through IND and into the clinic;
  • Working closely with the ADME/DMPK group, plan, execute and interpret pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies in acute and chronic disease models;
  • Working closely with the Clinical Development Team to ensure rapid successful IND and design of relevant clinical trials for a variety of indications
  • Working closely with the Discovery Biology group to develop and transfer relevant in vitro and in vivo models into the development programs
  • Be actively engaged in the evaluation of new targets/novel indications;
  • Present scientific data to multidisciplinary discovery teams, upper management, Scientific Advisory Board, Board of Directors, and regulatory agencies;
  • Work effectively in a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary setting of chemistry, biology, pharmacology, supported by external CROs;
  • Aid in fostering a culture of authenticity, open communication, transparency, integrity, mutual respect, and freedom to brainstorm and share thoughts and ideas;
  • Communicate effectively within project teams and work to progress against goals in a multidisciplinary setting;
  • Perform other related duties as required.

QUALIFICATIONS include the following:

  • PhD in biology, physiology or relevant biological discipline, with 15 or more years of industry work experience
  • Proven track record of good experimental design, in-depth data analysis and interpretation based on strong scientific rationale;
  • Proven track record of managing drug development teams and interacting with discovery biology, DMPK/ADME and chemistry functions
  • Demonstrated record of success as evidenced by progression of drug development programs through IND and into the clinic
  • Computer Skills: Advance knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Graphpad prism;
  • Alignment with the company’s culture; and
  • Core Competencies:
    • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, hands-on research and development environment;
    • Effective at planning, organizing, and prioritizing;
    • Able to handle multiple tasks and deliver high quality results under tight timelines;
    • High attention to detail and accuracy;
    • Effective troubleshooting and problem-solving skills;
    • Flexible and adaptable to change;
    • Adept at building strong relationships and collaborating with colleagues at all levels;
    • Effective team player and strong individual contributor;
    • Highly collaborative, self-motivated, and team-oriented; and
    • Effective communicator in both oral and written form.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee will regularly be required to use his/her hands and fingers to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and telephone keypad or to write, as well as talk and hear. The employee will regularly be required to sit, stand, walk, talk and hear; use hands to handle or feel; see computer screens and read printouts; and reach with arms and hands. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to focus. The employee needs to be able to stand for long periods of time in a laboratory setting including in front of a hood and at the bench. As well, s/he may occasionally be required to lift up to 50 pounds.

If you thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and are in search of a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team focused on discovering and developing therapies that will positively change the course of the health and well-being of underserved patients, we encourage you to apply.  Escient Pharmaceuticals offers a positive and exciting work environment with competitive pay structures and benefits.  Escient is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position please email your cover letter and CV to HR@EscientPharma.com.