Drug Discovery Scientist, Small Molecules - San Diego, CA | Biospace
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Drug Discovery Scientist, Small Molecules

Orphagen Pharmaceuticals

San Diego, CA
Posted Date:
Position Type:
Full time
Job Code:
Required Education:
Masters Degree
Areas of Expertise Desired:
Cancer, Drug Discovery, In Vivo, Scientist,

Job Description

Orphagen is seeking a highly-motivated and dynamic individual to join its research team and contribute to the development of novel treatments for cancer and other serious diseases. Our sweet spot is translational research, including the development of new, pharmacological endpoints that are target and disease relevant in order to advance discovery of new classes of compound.

A major responsibility for the scientist will include design and implementation of in vivo efficacy studies to test novel small molecule drug candidates in mouse tumor models (syngeneic and patient-derived tumor xenografts) for both targeted therapy and immuno-oncology programs. Experience in execution of one or more ex vivo analytical techniques (qRT-PCR, IHC, flow cytometry) is highly desirable as is a background in cell and molecular biology.

The candidate will also contribute to in vitro pharmacology assays to support screening and medicinal chemistry/SAR activities including the development and execution of high-throughput screening campaigns. Additional responsibilities include design and interpretation of pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies to evaluate in vivo target engagement.

Essential Functions

•   Participate vigorously in matrixed project responsibilities for drug discovery at multiple targets.
•   Design, conduct, and interpret in vivo efficacy studies, including mouse syngeneic and xenograft tumor models.
•   Train and/or supervise research associates in all required animal research procedures including tumor cell inoculation/xenograft implantation, animal dosing (oral, IV, IP), tumor measurements and tissue collection.
•   Support, design and execute a range of in vitro pharmacological assays including routine receptor screening assays.
•   Analyze and interpret experimental data and present findings to colleagues on a weekly basis.
•   Participate in design and reporting of research programs through literature review, data summaries, and interaction with partners and collaborators.
•   Implement new in vivo techniques, write animal use protocols and prepare annual reports for IACUC review.



A Ph.D. or M.S. degree in a relevant field with at least 3-5 years of cancer biology or immunology, preferably in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry. As part of a small, highly interactive team with matrixed project responsibilities, you must possess strong verbal and written communication skills and an ability to work independently.

About Orphagen

Orphagen discovers small molecules at drug targets that have significant unrealized potential in areas of high clinical need. Orphagen’s goal is to develop first-in-class drugs. Its focus is a family of targets known as the nuclear receptors, the source of many highly successful drugs.

Orphagen has been primarily supported with non-dilutive funding, from grants, research contracts, and partnership milestones. A competitive partnered program in autoimmune disease has entered Phase 1 clinical trials. Valuable internal assets include:

•   A targeted therapy for adrenocortical cancer (ACC) and for Cushing’s syndrome, both orphan indications with substantial unmet medical need and combined potential US revenue of $0.5 billion per year. This asset is based on Orphagen’s first-mover identification of antagonists to the orphan nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1).
•   A program in immuno-oncology (I/O) with a lead molecule that inhibits the formation of new T regulatory (Treg) cells.