Functional Lead, Discovery Biology

Deerfield Management Companies
Gramercy Park and Murray Hill, New York, US
Jun 05, 2021
Jul 04, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
Deerfield Discovery and Development, LLC (3DC) is the drug discovery and development arm of Deerfield Management Company, L.P. ("Deerfield"), an investment firm dedicated to advancing healthcare, and is engaged in drug discovery research in collaboration with faculty from top universities across the United States. 3DC plays a critical role in identifying and progressing early-stage therapeutics from scientific discovery through clinical proof of concept, via rigorous due diligence of proposals, and design and execution of relevant experiments for approved projects. 3DC partners closely with principal investigators in Deerfield's academic collaboration network, corporate and CRO partners to progress projects to value inflection points, and partners with Deerfield's investment colleagues to execute the optimal monetization strategy for each project.

Title: Functional Lead Discovery Biology

3DC seeks an experienced Discovery Biology Functional Lead (FL) to support our small and large molecule therapeutic discovery and development programs. As a member of multiple project Core Teams, the primary responsibility of the Discovery Biology Functional Lead is to provide strategic insight and tactical guidance with respect to their function, and for their projects generally, and to ensure the efficient execution of the biology strategy primarily through leadership of CRO biologists located in India and Europe. The Discovery Biology FL may serve as the Program Leader for one or more discovery stage programs.

The successful candidate will be responsible for collaboration with colleagues from Medicinal Chemistry, Translational Sciences, DMPK, Safety Assessment, and Research Informatics to assess a wide array of preclinical in vitro and in vivo data, as well as structural data. The Discovery Biology FL must then coordinate with additional members of the project biology team to design, develop, and apply biochemical, biophysical and cellular assays to identify and characterize active compounds during lead discovery and optimization to test pharmacological hypotheses, and ultimately to identify outstanding candidates for clinical evaluation. The FL will also be accountable for the design and execution of exploratory studies intended to identify and confirm proximal and distal mechanistic and pharmacodynamic markers, and to partner with Translational Sciences and In Vivo Pharmacology on the development and confirmation of patient selection hypotheses and associated biomarkers. The functional lead will be further responsible for the generation of reports in support of stage-gate nominations, publications, patent filings, and IND submissions. The Functional Lead must exhibit an energetic and innovative approach to problem solving. Strong communication and interpersonal skills with a desire to work in a fast-paced, flexible and dynamic environment is required.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide scientific leadership, strategic insight, and tactical guidance to drive multiple (2-4) therapeutic discovery projects from target validation through to clinical candidate selection across varied therapeutic areas, including selection of relevant diseases and specific patient populations, primarily executed through coordination of CRO biologists located in India and Europe.
  • Serve as a member and at times leader of project Core Teams, working collaboratively with colleagues from Medicinal Chemistry, Translational Sciences, DMPK, Safety Assessment, and Research Informatics to deliver key milestones and ultimately first-in-class and/or best-in-class clinical candidates.
  • Liaise with the principle investigators and their teams at the academic institutions to align on project deliverables and timelines, and ensure appropriate resources are allocated to meet these commitments.
  • Provide scientific direction and strategy to identify and implement emerging key technologies to expand service capabilities and fulfill customer needs in cutting-edge drug discoveries.
  • Invest ~30% of time mentoring and training Indian/European-based team members, both through frequent remote communications (video/voice calls, email) and in-person interactions (when appropriate).
  • Maintain the highest level of scientific rigor and professionalism within our organization.

Key Experiences

  • Ph.D. in biological sciences with experience in a Pharma / Biotech as a discovery project team biologist.
  • Experience in the design, validation and routine implementation of cellular and biochemical in vitro assays in the context of a screening cascade to support an integrated drug discovery program is essential
  • Experience in the design and execution of exploratory studies intended to identify and validate proximal and distal mechanistic and pharmacodynamic markers, as well as in the development and validation of patient selection hypotheses and associated biomarkers.
  • Experience in oncology and/or neuroscience therapeutic areas is a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a biology team driving projects from target validation through to clinical candidate nomination.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage timelines while advancing projects to successfully meet stage gate criteria.
  • Strong scientific reputation, as evidenced by publications, patents, and invited presentations.
  • Excellent understanding of fundamental principles for related disciplines, such as medicinal chemistry, DMPK, and safety assessment strong preferred.
  • Experience with IND preparation and submission.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a matrix environment and experience working in a global environment is a plus.

Key Skills and Capabilities

  • Collaboration and relationship building - Works well with others, leveraging skills to deliver high overall team performance. Is open to diverse perspectives and will challenge their own thinking
  • Adaptability - Anticipates potential issues and quickly changes course to maintain high performance levels, reacts quickly and positively when presented with challenges or new direction
  • Strategic Thinking - Identifies the critical data insights without becoming entrenched in detail. Anticipates future scenarios and builds plans that harness critical data and external trends and insight
  • Results orientation and team performance - Builds robust plans and objectives with engagement of others, drives performance against timelines ensuring a focus on safety, integrity, compliance, quality and service.
  • Coaching - Identifies strengths and development needs of others to drive optimal performance levels. Devotes time to coaching and mentoring individuals to accelerate their development
  • Communication skills - Strong written, presentation and verbal communication skills are essential.

3DC provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to religion, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, alienage or citizenship status, national origin, age, marital status, pregnancy, disability, veteran or military status, predisposing genetic characteristics or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law.



Location: New York, NY (preferred), with some working remotely permitted.

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