VP Chemistry 

Cambridge, UK

Dunad Therapeutics is a dynamic biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of next-generation targeted protein degradation therapies. Dunad’s platform enables selective degradation via direct target modification using tuneable mono-valent small molecules, allowing for the development of more drug-like, orally bioavailable, and CNS-accessible protein degraders.

The Role

To allow the company to achieve its strategic objectives, Dunad is seeking a highly talented, diversely experienced and motivated Medicinal Chemist to join the Drug Discovery Team. The VP Chemistry will work on an exciting and dynamic range of drug discovery projects as part of a highly ambitious team. The successful applicant will leverage their expertise to help drive the Dunad drug discovery engine and support the novel small molecule protein degradation programs. (S)he will be expected to apply hands-on knowledge of small molecule medicinal chemistry towards protein-degradation-based medicines. A seasoned, industry-experienced medicinal chemist, who has delivered chemistry strategies and plans through a combination of internal and external resources, the VP Chemistry will demonstrate an ability to lead and work on multiple projects at any given time, providing leadership and guidance for less experienced team members through line-management and matrix-management relations. Prior experience in the discovery of covalent molecules and of protein degradation approaches is highly desirable.  

This role will be based Cambridge, UK with some element of remote working.

Key Roles & Responsibilities

  • Lead and co-ordinate Dunad’s medicinal chemistry and ADME activities, based in-house and at CROs, from hit generation to lead optimisation and IND applications.

  • Contribute to the selection and prioritisation of targets and indications for development of novel degraders, based on evaluation of target validation, tractability and competitive landscape.

  • Lead and coordinate the set-up and execution of the medicinal chemistry programme, including: o Strategic leadership, chemistry planning, priorities, resourcing, timelines and delivery of high-quality chemical series across multiple small molecule discovery programs.

  • Work closely with biology, biochemistry, structural biology and computational chemistry colleagues to design novel compounds and hypotheses that address key drug optimisation goals.

  • Optimisation of lead series for potency, selectivity, physiochemical properties, in vitro ADME, and PK by coupling multivariant SAR analysis with hypothesis-driven medicinal chemistry design principles. Use sound scientific methods to propose hypotheses and determine next steps even with complex or ambiguous data.

  • Design and development of new synthetic routes and synthesis of target molecules.

  • Synergise with the broader team by communicating results, sharing insights, making plans, and setting goals in an open, honest way.

  • Proactively investigate new or different technologies to improve the effectiveness of the drug discovery process.

  • Be an effective member of Dunad drug discovery project teams, contributing novel ideas and using judgement and knowledge where appropriate to influence the work of the project.

  • Independently communicate results to cross-functional project teams and update senior management on overall project strategy and goals.

  • Maintain an awareness of the current developments in the literature and identification of opportunities where improvements can be made.

  • Support the organisation by maintaining a work environment focused on scientific integrity and fostering learning, open communication and collaboration.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Ph.D. in Medicinal or Synthetic Organic Chemistry with >10 years’ experience in small molecule drug discovery, in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry, preferably with experience in the discovery of covalent therapeutics. 

  • Demonstrated experience as a drug hunter in advancing programs from leads to development candidates. 

  • Proven experience in managing teams of chemists, both internal and at outsourcing CROs, to deliver objectives on multiple drug discovery programmes. 

  • Proven track record of innovation and impact on programs documented through co-inventorship on issued patents and authorship of publications in peer-reviewed journals (may include both successful advances and smart terminations). 

  • High level of creativity and productivity with strong problem-solving skills, synthetic methods, and reaction mechanisms.

  • Extensive hands-on experience in hit-to-lead and lead compound optimisation for potency, selectivity, ADME, safety and PK. 

  • Expert in using common medicinal chemistry software: electronic notebook, ChemDraw, Excel; data visualisation; structure viewing; literature, chemical and database searching; molecular modelling software. 

  • Strong skills in gathering, documenting, and analysing information from competitive sources such as patents and meetings and using this information to guide program strategy. 

  • Excellent communication skills and able to present the rationale, key data, issues and accomplishments of the chemistry efforts to other members of the R&D organisation. 

  • Committed to staying current with the latest scientific breakthroughs in the medicinal chemistry field through continued reading of the literature and attendance of scientific conferences. 

Personal attributes

Team oriented, goal-driven, organised, highly collaborative, open-minded, data-driven, creative, persistent in the face
of obstacles and uncertainty, flexible, self-aware of strengths and weaknesses, objective in the evaluation of data
and strongly optimistic about overcoming obstacles.


Dunad is headquartered in and will build its Research Hub in Cambridge, UK. While there will be some flexibility with regards to remote working, a presence on this site will be required.

The recruitment of this key role is being handled exclusively by Coulter Partners (www.coulterpartners.com) and if you would like to apply, or simply find out more about this exciting opportunity, please contact the team at Dunad@coulterpartners.com