Director of Chemistry

TITLE: Director of Chemistry
SALARY: Competitive salary and benefits package, relative to qualifications and experience

Amphista Therapeutics is a fast-growing biotech and the leading Europe-based Targeted Protein Degradation (TPD) company. Initially founded from the laboratory of Professor Alessio Ciulli (University of Dundee) our team comprises both academic and drug discovery pioneers of the TPD field and a growing R&D team focused on advancing a portfolio of medicines to the clinic using our proprietary next generation TPD technologies.

Amphista’s approaches use completely novel mechanisms to build on all the advantages of TPD while directly addressing the emerging limitations of existing strategies to expand the utility of the field. In particular, we have shown our approach has the potential to be superior to all other TPD approaches (PROTACs, molecular glues, etc) through our unique novel mechanisms giving expanded scope, improved drug-like properties and reduced tumour resistance potential. We have a range of projects in the discovery phase, initially focused on oncology with potential to expand into other therapy areas including neurology, immunology and infectious disease. Amphista R&D is based in our spacious 4000 sq-ft labs in BioCity Glasgow and we also work with a wide range of UK-based and global collaborators and CROs.

As a Director of Chemistry at Amphista you’ll be a key member of the leadership of the R&D team reporting directly to the CSO. The role will be critical to driving R&D and company success and you’ll have significant impact on the success of Amphista R&D through your leadership of key projects within our portfolio and contributions to the wider R&D strategy. As a key member of the R&D team, you would ideally be located with the R&D team in Scotland though for exceptional candidates, remote working from other locations may be possible.

You’ll use your extensive experience of successful project delivery and creative ways to overcome drug discovery challenges to lead and contribute to specific programmes within Amphista’s protein degrader drug discovery portfolio, having a significant impact on the success of the R&D strategy. Working to lead project and functional teams, you’ll work across hit ID, lead optimisation and preclinical development. As a key part of Amphista R&D leadership, you’ll work closely with other chemistry, cell biology, pharmacology and development leaders as well as senior leadership including CSO, CEO and others. This is an exciting opportunity to join a fast growing and dynamic company operating at the cutting edge of one of the most transformational recent developments in drug discovery strategies to develop first in class and best in class medicines.

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Designing and delivering the medicinal chemistry and wider project strategy for one or more high priority portfolio programmes.
  • Contributing medicinal chemistry expertise across the portfolio of projects at all stages in areas such as drug molecule design & synthesis, data analysis of SAR & DMPK profiles, building of efficacy/safety data and writing of candidate selection data packages.
  • Contributing to target selection, prioritisation and advancement discussions across portfolio.
  • Designing project plans to enable fast decision-making and project progression including nomination of clinical candidates for IND/CTA-enabling studies and clinical entry.
  • Developing project resourcing plans to make most efficient use of internal & external resources.
  • Working with clinical leaders to define target product profiles and generate data packages to support regulatory filings.
  • Working in and leading interdisciplinary project teams to reach project goals. Identifying and working with external consultants to bring additional expertise to teams.
  • Initiating and overseeing partnerships with external collaborators: successfully advancing programmes using combination of internal and external (e.g. CRO, other collaborators) resources.
  • Scientific leadership including project leadership, line leadership as well as mentorship and development of scientists in the R&D team.
  • Contributing to filing of appropriate patent applications and contributing to development of the Amphista IP strategy.
  • Presenting plans and results internally, including at board level at externally, at international conferences.

Essential requirements:

  • Ph.D in chemistry or a related discipline or a BSc/MSc degree with significant (more than 10 years preferred) relevant pharma/biotech drug discovery experience of leading projects to successful milestones and conclusions in oncology or closely-related therapy area.
  • A deep understanding of contemporary small molecule drug discovery and development including structure-based design, property-based design, multi-parameter optimisation & successful use of computational chemistry & cheminformatic tools.
  • Experience of contributing to company or business unit R&D strategy through creative identification and prioritisation of opportunities.
  • Evidence of significant scientific productivity and impact through your own personal leadership of projects to key milestones including candidate selection and clinical entry.
  • Extensive experience of implementation of creative medicinal chemistry strategies to produce high quality candidate molecules for subsequent development and clinical evaluation.
  • Highly scientifically creative and flexible as evidenced by successful delivery of “non-standard” projects (e.g. agonists, covalent modifiers, bifunctionals/PROTACs, less common dosing regimens & routes).
  • Good network & relationships with a wide range of CROs and other external collaborators to access appropriate resources for project success.
  • Outstanding scientific reputation as evidenced by publication and presentations.
  • Strong interpersonal communication to both senior leadership and project/matrix teams.
  • Evidence of successful leadership of teams to achieve significant project milestones and to develop team members.
  • A hands-on approach to personally leading project and R&D success.
  • Experience of working in fast-moving drug discovery environment, contributing to successful delivery of multiple projects in parallel.

Experience in the following areas would be preferred but not essential:

  • In addition to oncology, experience of successful delivery of drug discovery projects in other therapy areas including immunology or neurology would be advantageous.
  • Previous experience working on TPD or other bifunctional molecule projects (e.g. PROTACs) preferred.

Applicants should submit a CV and covering letter by email to quoting reference chemDir0221