VP Biology

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, industry experienced VP of Biology to join the Drug Discovery Leadership Team. This role will provide the opportunity to work on an exciting and dynamic range of drug discovery projects as part of a highly ambitious team. The VP Biology will leverage their expertise to help drive the Dunad drug discovery engine and support novel small molecule protein degradation programs. (S)he will be expected to flawlessly apply hands-on knowledge of cellular and biochemical screening assays, in vitro and in vivo efficacy models, for the identification, characterisation and progression of protein-degradation-based medicines. Furthermore, the VP Biology will demonstrate an ability to lead and work on multiple projects at any given time and provide leadership and guidance for less experienced team members through line-management and matrix-management relations.  

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

Key Roles & Responsibilities

  • Lead and coordinate the protein sciences, biochemistry and cell and molecular biology efforts in-house and at CROs for Dunad’s internal pipeline and platform development.

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

  • Lead and co-ordinate the set-up and execution of the company’s biology programme including: o Design of screening cascades to support medicinal chemistry efforts.

  • Target protein and cell line production. 

  • Development of medium-throughput plate-based biochemical and biophysical assays for compound screening and characterisation.

  • Development of functional and phenotypic cellular assays in recombinant and primary cells, including evaluation of protein degradation and mechanism of action studies. 

  • Selection and design of in vivo and translational studies. 

  • Structural biology. 

  • Lead the experimental design, assay development and interpretation of results, being accountable for achieving project milestones and delivering on target objectives.

  • 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.

  • Build a strong internal and external collaborative network centred on targeted protein degradation.

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

Qualifications & Experience

  • Ph.D. in Biology, Pharmacology, Cell biology or a related discipline with 8-10 years’ hands-on experience preferably in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry. 

  • Experience of leading teams of scientists delivering to objectives across multiple drug discovery programmes. 

  • Strong hands-on experience in protein sciences and cellular biology techniques applied to development of physiologically relevant cellular assays together with expertise in the design, development and validation of cellular assays for compound profiling and screening applications in a drug discovery setting. 

  • Expertise in a range of cell biology techniques, to include cloning, transfection methods, gene expression knock-down (RNAi or other) and endogenous gene tagging. 

  • A practical understanding of a wide range of cellular assay methods and technologies (for example fluorescence, luminescence, mass spectrometry and target engagement techniques) as applied to a range of biological targets in drug discovery programmes. 

  • Strong understanding of pathways and targets in oncology including epigenetics, immune-oncology, cancer metabolism, DNA-damage repair, synthetic lethality. 

  • Preferably the candidate will have a strong understanding and demonstrated performance in targeted protein degradation biology with proven experience on development of model systems capable of identifying therapeutic molecules that exploit endogenous cellular mechanisms of protein degradation.

  • Leadership and hands-on experience coordinating and managing outsourcing at CROs. 

  • Expert knowledge of computer software and Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, GraphPad and Prism). 

  • 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. 

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. 

Location

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