We are seeking an experienced and driven scientist to build and lead the Medicinal Chemistry and CMC team at Flagship Labs 63 (FL63). You will be joining an innovative and collaborative team of researchers focused on leveraging emerging insights in RNA biology to develop novel classes of oligonucleotide-based human therapeutics. In this role, you will be responsible for (i) building our capabilities in oligonucleotide-based drug discovery and design driven by synthetic and in silico approaches, (ii) implementing a strategy for drug formulation, delivery to target organs, and CMC, and (iii) working closely with internal and external collaborators to enable a preclinical path that enables translation of multiple drug candidates to the clinic.
FL63 was founded by Flagship Pioneering, an innovation enterprise that conceives, resources and grows first-in-category life science companies (including the now familiar drug and vaccine innovator, Moderna Therapeutics). The firm’s institutional innovation foundry, Flagship Labs, is where teams of scientific entrepreneurs systematically evolve ideas and turn previously undiscovered areas of science into real-world ventures. Flagship has created over 100 scientific ventures resulting in >$19 billion in aggregate value, 500+ issued patents, and >50 clinical trials for novel therapeutic agents. Flagship’s portfolio companies include Sana, Seres, Codiak, Rubius Therapeutics, and Indigo Agriculture.
As an early member of a privately held, well-funded, early-stage platform biotechnology company, you will have significant influence on many aspects of company growth including platform development, creating and pursuing innovative medicinal chemistry approaches, and translation into the clinic along with the opportunity to grow as the company continues to expand. You will also benefit from opportunities to engage with the broader Flagship Pioneering ecosystem.
A successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry or medicinal chemistry, an additional 10+ years of relevant experience that includes nucleic acid-based drug discovery and delivery/biodistribution, a proven track-record of scientific excellence (strong publication/patent record) and demonstrated success in platform building and team leadership. The candidate’s career goals, professional experience, and core competencies should be aligned with the description below.
- Develop oligonucleotide chemistry vision, strategy and tactics as a core component of the FL63 therapeutics discovery platform; drive multiple drug discovery projects in collaboration with the FL63 team to build a first-in-class, best-in-class pipeline.
- Build a world-class oligonucleotide chemistry team/platform, including new lab buildout, to support the FL63 drug discovery pipeline
- Develop integrated drug discovery and optimization workflows that incorporate biological activity data, structure-based drug design, computational chemistry and machine learning approaches
- Lead efforts to identify emerging trends in the oligonucleotide therapeutics field and maintains awareness of competitive landscape. Develop and contribute to FL63 intellectual property estate.
- Continuous cultivation of scientific/technical excellence through critical review of the scientific literature, attending external conferences, and developing relationships with key opinion leaders
- Contribution to multiple projects as a project team leader and senior project team member. Management of timelines, resourcing and budget planning
- Build, develop, and manage a highly skilled and motivated Medicinal Chemistry and CMC team that combines domain expertise, scientific excellence, and full integration with the FL63 R&D organization; ensure alignment with the company budget to meet company goals
- Independently lead both internal team and external CRO partners; identify, develop and implement both existing ASO/RNAi/nucleic acid aptamer chemistries and develop next-generation chemistry solutions for FL63’s novel therapeutics platform.
- Operate in close collaboration with the Leadership Team, functional areas such as DMPK, In Vitro And In Vivo Pharmacology, R&D Informatics, Clinical Development and Regulatory, and be a positive contributor to company culture in a matrixed team environment. Provide updates to the Leadership Team to define strategy/tactics and propose mitigation of roadblocks and risks
Qualifications and Skills:
- A Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry or equivalent with an additional 10+ years of relevant experience that includes nucleic acid chemistry, oligonucleotide-based drug discovery and development
- Deep expert-level understanding of modern methods in synthetic chemistry with an emphasis on nucleosides, nucleotides and oligonucleotide synthesis, purification and analytical characterization as applied to nucleic acid therapeutics
- Demonstrated ability and track record of developing SAR models based on experimental data and computational chemistry input driving lead optimization campaigns to development candidate declaration
- Working knowledge of/experience with (i) oligonucleotide conjugation chemistries, (ii) formulation and tissue delivery/biodistribution strategies for nucleic acids, and (iii) oligonucleotide process chemistry
- Working knowledge of RNA biology and oligonucleotide screening technologies to facilitate effective team collaboration
- Interdisciplinary skill set in drug discovery areas of in vitro/ in vivo pharmacology, DMPK, and toxicology
- Strong organizational leadership skills with a proven track record in setting vision/strategy and managing team execution to achieve key company milestones.
- Excellent people manager to both direct and indirect reports at all levels. Models exemplary values and behaviors. Capable of effective developing the next generation of chemistry talent at FL63.
- Demonstrated ability to initiate and lead external interactions and collaborations establish working relationships and effective communication with consultants, study directors and CROs
Fast-acting/efficient. Moves quickly and proactively with a strong work ethic to produce high-quality results while fostering a positive work environment. Focuses on key priorities. Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done.
Integrity. Does not cut corners ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidences. Does what is right not just what is politically expedient. Speaks plainly and truthfully. Follows-through on commitments. Expects a high level of personal performance and team performance.
Critical thinking. Learns quickly. Demonstrates ability to proficiently understand new information and independently achieve meaningful outcomes. Able to structure and process qualitative/quantitative data and draw insightful conclusions.
Creativity & Innovation. Generates new and creative approaches to problem solving. Positive ‘can-do’ attitude. Views the toughest challenges as the greatest opportunities for personal growth and company innovation.
Teamwork. Fully engaged in facilitating personal and team success. Reaches out to peers and cooperates with the team to establish an overall collaborative work environment. Often solicits and responds well to constructive feedback. Possesses good written and oral communication skills with the ability to clearly and concisely convey ideas and opinions.
Flexibility/adaptability. Adjusts quickly to changing strategic and tactical priorities. ‘Wears multiple hats’ and is comfortable with ambiguity.