Head, Discovery Biology - Emeryville, CA | Biospace
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Head, Discovery Biology

Symic Bio

Emeryville, CA
Posted Date:
Position Type:
Full time
Job Code:
Required Education:
Areas of Expertise Desired:
Assay Development, Biology, Drug Discovery,

Job Description


Symic Bio is a clinical stage biotherapeutics company focused on matrix biology. Symic is developing a platform of matrix regulators, novel compounds that target and regulate the extracellular matrix (ECM), the non¬cellular component of tissue. The ECM plays a critical role in a wide variety of processes involved in acute and chronic indications. The matrix regulators generated by Symic Bio’s proprietary technology are inspired by proteoglycans, which are naturally occurring macromolecules that play important structural and regulatory functions in the ECM. Symic Bio currently has two unique molecules currently undergoing Phase II clinical studies, one being evaluated in vascular injury and the other in osteoarthritis. Symic Bio’s pipeline includes preclinical programs targeting oncology, fibrosis and CNS disorders.


The Head, Discovery Biology will lead biological target identification, the development and execution of bioassays, and pharmacology of Symic’s peptide-glycosaminoglycan bioconjugate platform. This position will play a key leadership role in Symic’s discovery process, and will work collaboratively with Chemistry, Preclinical Development and Clinical departments. The efforts will include researching matrix biology including working with KOLs to foster target identification, and exploration of MoA, including disease-related target engagement and efficacy investigations, ultimately driving to clinical candidate and indication selection.

The ideal candidate has a passion for science and medicine and a track-record for target identification that leads to novel applications in clinical medicine. This individual can lead teams that will identify and develop disease-relevant assays and models, and support sophisticated pharmacology assessment of drug action, both in vitro and in vivo. The Head, Discovery Biology will provide strong organizational, technological and scientific leadership of the molecule discovery effort to support lead generation, lead optimization and advancement of projects through the discovery pipeline through clinical candidate selection and support of ensuing clinical trials. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, this role will ensure a future competitive position for Symic through management and integration of new technology initiatives, both internal and external, that fully leverage the research strategy.


•   Oversee the development, implementation, and execution of the Symic internal technology infrastructure as applied to target identification, bioassay development, pharmacology and lead optimization of Symic peptide-glycosaminoglycan bioconjugates.
•   Develop strategy for implementing translational research approaches that interface collaboratively with Preclinical Development, Chemistry and Clinical teams. These interfaces would include in vivo PK/PD studies, design and synthesis of compounds, and development of clinically translatable biomarkers.
•   Provide day-to-day scientific, technical and organizational leadership within the research team, prioritizing IP considerations to ensure optimal long-term patent protection around compounds as well as novel technologies.  
•   In collaboration with the Chemistry team, create assay development and qualification workflows for medium to high-throughput screening applications, including routine compound testing of specificity, potency, and pharmaceutics with operational excellence.
•   Possess keen strategic and technical expertise with experience working in a highly-matrixed organization interfacing with other departments and executive committee. Mentor and lead 5-10 staff internally. Oversee coordination of CROs to ensure timeliness and progression of projects is in line with project plans. Balance workflow and department resourcing on platform expansion versus product focus in real-time based on strategic direction and priorities set by company management.
•   In partnership with Chemistry and Preclinical Development departments, oversee the Research department operating budget, including outsourcing and capital components, to assure that financial and people resources are aligned and managed to achieve delivery goals.
•   Develop a culture of accountability, transparency, results, innovation and collegiality within the research organization by establishing performance expectations and hiring and developing top talent to achieve organizational delivery goals. Through the leadership of others, ensure employees are appropriately trained, following corporate policies, SOPs and practices without compromising quality.
•   Present results at scientific meetings and in publications of peer-reviewed scientific journals. Review technical publications, articles and abstracts to stay current of drug research developments.
•   Travel as needed to establish and manage key external drug discovery partnerships and technology expansion relationships at CROs and partner labs.



•   PhD, with expertise in biology, preferably systems biology and/or translational biology, and a minimum of 8 years’ industry experience post Ph.D.
•   Demonstrated leadership or key involvement in developing discovery processes
•   Demonstrated success delivering therapeutic candidates into development
•   Expertise in multiple therapeutic areas. Matrix biology and glycobiology exposure strongly preferred. Peptide experience also strongly preferred.
•   Demonstrated project team leadership and management capability in a matrixed environment; small company and/or start-up experience preferred

Location:  Emeryville with free shuttle service to BART

Compensation:  Competitive compensation package including equity