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Head of Discovery Therapeutics

Shire Pharmaceuticals Group

Lexington, MA
Posted Date:
Position Type:
Full time
Job Code:
Required Education:
Areas of Expertise Desired:

Job Description

Primary Role:

Responsible and accountable for setting overall new molecular entity strategy that delivers preclinical development candidates consistent with the strategic objectives and mission of Shire, and are of sufficient number and quality to achieve the company's portfolio objectives. Responsible for introduction of new enabling technologies and identification of external opportunities that help ensure the achievement of productivity goals. Integrates activities of Molecule Optimization with other major functions in Shire (e.g. Discovery Biology and Process Development) and the partnering of projects through Preclinical Development into the clinic. Responsible for developing and integrating operating and strategic plans that support the overall Shire Research goals, including optimizing the internal versus external resource balance of key functions. Major functions within Molecule Optimization include molecular design, molecule optimization, medicinal chemistry, oligonucleotide and peptide chemistry, molecular biology, protein chemistry, antibody engineering, phage library design and screening, gene therapy vector technology, computer aided drug design, project leadership and management of external partnerships. Effectively engages external scientific organizations and manages complex network of strategic CRO partnerships. Capable of representing the Company in all related technical matters of high significance. Is a member of the Shire Research and NCD Leadership Team.


Preclinical Development Candidates: Responsible and accountable for the identification of lead candidates, using a variety of technologies, and optimization of these to deliver preclinical development candidates that meet or exceed prospectively set criteria and span a wide range of therapeutic modalities (e.g. small molecules, peptides, ologonucleotides, proteins, antibodies, gene therapy vectors). Responsible for providing strategic input and guidance on the appropriate portfolio balance of these therapeutic modalities. Responsible for providing pharmacological tools that enable preclinical proof of concept and in vivo validation studies. Effectively leads the complex and inter-related functions contained in a Molecule Optimization department including a network of strategic CRO partnerships. Ensures that productivity goals of the discovery portfolio are met.

Line Management: Effectively leads and manages the Molecule Optimization department. Designs and implements an organizational structure that is flexible and scalable and that can adapt to the growing and changing needs of the Shire organization. Ensures that resources are applied appropriately, that Molecule Optimization sub-functions have the leadership, experience and expertise needed to deliver on their goals and that the internal versus external resource balance is maximized. Recruits and retains world class drug hunting talent and provides career development opportunities. Manages the department budget effectively. Fosters a culture of openness, creativity and innovation and personifies a sense of urgency and can do spirit.

Business Development and External Engagement: Works effectively with Business Development and other Shire colleagues to help identify and critically assess external opportunities and incorporate them into our portfolio as appropriate. Establishes and develops a broad network of consultants and external collaborators, including biotech and academic partners in order to identify new project opportunities.

Research and Nonclinical Development Leadership Team: Serves as a member of the Shire Research and Nonclinical Development Leadership Team, influences the operations and future strategy of this department.

Strategic Engagement: Integrates activities of Molecule Optimization with other major functions in Shire (e.g. Discovery Biology, Nonclinical Development, Business Development, Process Development) and the partnering of projects through Preclinical Development into the clinic. Recognizes the unique needs of Molecule Optimization in support of different business units, with an emphasis on rare diseases, and looks for ways to shorten time lines, including innovative partnerships with external organizations. Develops a broad network and works extensively and effectively with CROs, often in strategic partnerships, to deliver predevelopment candidates. Ensures compliance of Molecule Optimization activities.


Education and Experience Requirements:

PhD degree in Protein Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Organic Chemistry, or Medicinal Chemistry, or equivalent experience

Expected to have at least 10 - 12 years experience in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry, designing, optimizing and delivering high quality new molecular entity drug candidates.

Significant experience leading experienced scientists.

Other Job Requirements:

Occasional domestic and International travel
Participation in external scientific meetings

Shire's Brave culture offers employees with diverse backgrounds the opportunity to enable those with life altering conditions to lead better lives As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, Shire is committed to a diverse workforce. US Applicants who require accommodation in the job application process may contact 484-595-8400.

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