Senior Immunologist / Associate Director, Discovery Biology

Scholar Rock
Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Oct 30, 2021

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Senior Immunologist / Associate Director, Discovery Biology

Scholar Rock is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company creating a robust pipeline of therapeutics with the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from serious diseases, including neuromuscular disorders, cancer, and fibrosis. Our proprietary platform is rooted in our structural biology insights into the activation of latent growth factor precursors and drives the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies that locally and selectively target these signaling proteins at the cellular level. By exploiting structural differences in the precursor, or latent forms of growth factors, Scholar Rock intends to avoid the historical dose-limiting safety challenges associated with inhibiting the mature form of growth factors for therapeutic effect.

Our first investigational product candidate, apitegromab (SRK-015), is a selective inhibitor of the activation of latent myostatin. We announced positive 12-month top-line data from the TOPAZ trial in April 2021, demonstrating that apitegromab has the potential to improve motor function in patients with Type 2 and Type 3 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We anticipate initiating a Phase 3 registrational trial by the end of 2021 and are moving steadfast towards our aim of bringing this potential first muscle-directed therapy to patients with SMA

Our second investigational product candidate, SRK-181, is a selective inhibitor of latent TGFβ1 activation being developed to overcome primary resistance to checkpoint inhibitor therapies (CPIs), such as anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 antibodies. Although CPIs have transformed the cancer treatment landscape, only approximately 20% of patients respond to treatment. We believe SRK-181 has the potential to meaningfully increase the number of patients who can benefit from CPIs. We are evaluating SRK-181 in the ongoing DRAGON Phase 1 proof-of-concept trial (NCT04291079) evaluating patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors. We anticipate initial clinical response and safety data from Part A (dose escalation) portion of the trial by the end of 2021.

We continue to progress our scientific platform and preclinical programs as we apply our structural insights and protein science and antibody expertise to discover antibodies with differentiated therapeutic profiles and develop high-impact medicines for patients suffering from serious diseases.

Summary of Position:

Scholar Rock is seeking an outstanding individual to join our team in discovering and developing novel biologic therapies. You will provide immunology and I/O experience to the Discovery Biology team, lead/co-lead early exploratory and discovery research programs and support late stage and clinical programs in a matrixed organization. This position requires a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with hands-on expertise in taking novel target ideas from exploratory stage to preclinical development . The successful candidate must demonstrate a high level of autonomy, initiative and decision making.
Position Responsibilities:
  • Lead immunology and I/O efforts within Discovery Biology group
  • Initiate, manage and lead discovery research programs to identify antibody therapeutics for immunology and immune-oncology related targets
  • Support existing TGFb I/O clinical program(s) providing preclinical pharmacology to aid in indication expansion efforts.
  • Contribute to defining scientific strategy for new target discovery within immunology and I/O therapeutic areas, including understanding mechanisms of CPI resistance
  • Design and execute in vivo pharmacology studies in mouse tumor models using CROs
  • Develop and perform assays that support in vivo studies and in vitro screening activities
  • Manage and mentor a team of both scientists and research associates
  • Work collaboratively with translational scientists to support patient selection strategies and identify biomarker response signatures.
  • Communicate overall strategy of the projects to others including senior leadership
  • Prepare reports to support regulatory filings
Candidate Requirements:
  • PhD degree in a scientific discipline with 8+ years of experience in drug discovery, including demonstrated leadership of biology and discovery project teams in the biotechnology industry.
  • A solid background in cellular and/or molecular immunobiology with experience running and characterizing syngeneic and xenograft mouse tumor models.
  • Experience supporting identification of development candidates and a strong record of leading programs to candidate nomination and beyond.
  • Comfort with managing and prioritizing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Strong track record of publications in the field.
  • Demonstrated prior supervisory experience and strong team leadership skills.
  • Detail-oriented as well as being able to see the big picture
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills are essential. The successful candidate will be able to clearly and effectively present scientific data and concepts to a wide range of audiences both internally and externally.
Scholar Rock is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees .

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