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Director of Drug Discovery (Mitobridge)

Company: Astellas
Location: Cambridge
Posted on: April 9, 2021

Job Description:

Developing innovative therapies is one of the most challenging, most essential and personally rewarding fields in science. This is the most exciting time to be a part of Astellas, a company with a uniquely collaborative and patient-focused culture. There's something special about working at Astellas. It's reflected in our focus on the people we serve, the way we treat each other and the results we achieve together as a company. Astellas is announcing a Director of Drug Discovery opportunity at their Mitobridge site in Cambridge, MA. At Mitobridge, we are passionate about developing novel therapeutics that improve mitochondrial function to treat devastating human diseases. Mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly linked to disease pathologies and we believe that 'normalizing' mitochondrial function can ameliorate or reverse disease states. Purpose: * The Director will be part of the company's extended leadership team and will contribute to the strategic directions consistent with the company's vision for developing products that can address unmet medical need. * The role of the Director of Drug Discovery is to build and oversee preclinical drug development programs and translational science/medicine strategy from concept through IND submission. Assume responsibility for the design and execution of all non-clinical work up to and including the IND-enabling studies such as assay development, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology for lead optimization as well as toxicology studies. * The successful candidate will be an outstanding scientist with proven leadership skills and experience in leading pre-clinical programs as well as overseeing the design, execution and interpretation of non-clinical pharmacology and toxicology studies and preparing successful IND submissions in a disease agnostic, pathophysiology/biology driven approach. * Develop and maintaining strong collaborations and relations with external top scientists for the purpose of maintaining the pipeline and building and maintaining the Company's brand Essential Job Responsibilities: * Lead multiple projects within discovery, provide scientific expertise, guidance and strategy to successfully bringing programs to IND submission. * Propose, plan and manage study execution to characterize the company's drug candidates and their mechanism of action to move programs from discovery to clinical development * Plan and implement translational research including investigation pharmacodynamics markers of target engagement, markers predictive of or correlating with clinical efficacy and disease biology * Lead in coordination and preparation of study reports, regulatory filings and project presentations * Manage a portfolio of targets related to mitochondrial health, autophagy and chaperones, oversee strategic execution of discovery research and preclinical activities to enable robust, timely and compliant IND submissions with clear development paths * Provide expert level guidance in designing and implementing cell biology, in vivo pharmacology and biomarker related studies * Interface with external partners, clinical and academic collaborators, and CROs * Provide high-level updates and advice to senior management, including evaluation of data and their potential impact on drug programs and clinical/regulatory strategy * Oversee collaborations with academic investigators or industry partners; work with key opinion leaders in specific disease areas * Lead (directly & indirectly through projects), develop and retain a high-performance team focused on developing mitochondrial therapeutics. Provide development opportunities and mentoring to the team * Keeps abreast of emerging developments regarding research and development in the fields of mitochondrial biology, emerging new biology and new modalities that could facilitate identification of new targets or development of new therapeutics * Experience in advancing projects in neurological disorders is a plus Qualifications: Required * PhD degree in pharmacology, biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, or related field * 15+ years of experience in a drug discovery setting (biotech or large pharma) of relevant industry experience in a biopharmaceutical setting with extensive experience leading drug discovery project teams from target validation to IND-enabling studies * Demonstrated creativity and novel approaches to solving scientific problems * Knowledge of preclinical and clinical biomarker discovery and development * Deep understanding of preclinical PK/PD/efficacy relationships and their translation to the clinic * Strong leadership, interpersonal and communication skills with an enthusiasm for participating in a fast-paced environment characterized by rigorous science and innovative thinking * Demonstrated application of expertise to drug discovery in multiple therapeutic areas * Significant experience leading strong multi-disciplinary teams focused on small molecule drug discovery * Familiarity with engaging and managing external efforts with contract research organizations and academic collaborators * At home in a results-driven, highly accountable environment where you can make a clear impact * A team player and mentor, who listens effectively and invites response and discussion. A collaborator who communicates in an open, clear, complete, timely and consistent manner Preferred * Experience in neurobiology, eye, muscle or kidney pathophysiology, metabolic diseases, mitochondrial biology, small molecule pharmacology * Experience working within large pharma organizations and biotech/start up environment * Deep understanding and experience of experimental models from rodents to non human primates and human disease samples #LI-JA1 Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Keywords: Astellas, Cambridge , Director of Drug Discovery (Mitobridge), Executive , Cambridge, Massachusetts

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