Biotech Bay is Rich With Opportunity in the Industry’s Hottest Spaces

Biotech Bay Hiring

Northern California’s bay area, which includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Napa, and Marin County, is home to some of the most well-established biopharma companies. The atmosphere is chill, the mood relaxed – unless you happen to work for one of these scientific innovators where drive and determination are required to meet the mission. 

The Biotech Bay region is home to 3,418 life sciences companies, and 96,574 employees making an average of $151,076.  Focuses and technologies range from cell and gene therapy to precision medicine and polymer chemistry, targeting rare diseases along with more pervasive killers. And these seven companies just happen to have a wealth of job openings right now. 

 Gilead Sciences Inc.

Nestled in Foster City, a small hamlet in San Mateo County, Gilead Sciences is well-known for its achievements in viral diseases, most notably human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

With a mission of developing novel therapeutics for life-threatening illnesses with unmet medical need, Gilead has an impressive list of FDA-approved medicines. These include Veklury®, better known as the COVID-19 therapy, remdesivir, Biktarvy®, a single tablet HIV regimen, and Yescarta®, a chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) drug acquired along with Kite Pharma in 2017.

In 2020, Gilead employed approximately 13,600 individuals. This was an increase of around 2000 (15.25%) from 2019, and the company is growing again.

For those passionate about global access to cancer medicines, Gilead is hiring a Director, Value & Access Strategy –  Oncology. The successful applicant will have at least 12 years of biopharma experience in market access-related activities – bonus points if this is on a regional or country basis. For the more statistically-inclined, Gilead is looking for a Sr. Manager, Biostatistics – Oncology.

With well over 300 positions available, opportunities abound to join this Biotech Bay leader.  

 BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.

Established in 1997, San Rafael-based BioMarin specializes in super-rare diseases.  BioMarin is targeting cures for diseases like inherited metabolic disorder, Phenylketonuria (PKU), and the rapidly progressing pediatric brain disorder, late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2 (CLN2). The company also has a strong presence in hemophilia.

With six commercially approved drugs and a market cap of  $15.4 billion, BioMarin was cited by Zacks Equity Research as one of four potential biotech takeover targets for 2021. Whether this will be the case, only time will tell, but BioMarin is getting even bigger, with nearly 200 open posts, including:

Associate Director, Global Brand Management - Strategy and Operations. Anyone wanting to make this strategic career move will need to have a minimum of 7 years of pharmaceutical/biotech industry experience. 

Senior Associate - Regulatory Affairs. The successful candidate will possess superior decision-making and problem-solving skills and have a tendency to thrive in a cross-functional business environment. A degree in health or life sciences is required; Ph.D. preferred.

Category Manager, Single Use Technology. This job is for those passionate about supply chain operations, with 5-plus years of strategic procurement experience and 3-plus years in the biotech/life sciences industry. BioMarin would prefer someone with an MBA or MS, and a C.P.M.

 Arcus Biosciences, Inc.

Founded in 2015, Arcus Biosciences is combining precision therapeutic strategies in an effort to defeat cancers that have thus far eluded medicine. Arcus has clearly been busy over the past six years, with 13 programs in clinical development and five more coming down the discovery pipeline. Targets include a wide range of cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Those seeking a position within this unique biopharma company should check out some of the 90-plus jobs currently available. Here are just a couple:

Bioanalytical Scientist. Arcus is actively recruiting a scientist for its Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) department. Interested candidates with a ​Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences or related disciplines should apply. 

Principal Investigator/Clinical Biomarkers– Translational Science. Arcus is seeking a candidate with expertise in the development, execution, and oversight of biomarker plans for oncology assets.

Associate Director, Clinical Supply. The winner of this position will play a role in all of Arcus’s clinical development problems. The desired applicant will have 7-plus years of relevant experience and a Master’s degree.

 Global Blood Therapeutics

Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) is comprised of nearly 400 people driven by the mission of delivering life-changing treatments for those with sickle cell disease (SCD) and other severe blood disorders. In late 2019, the FDA approved GBT’s oxbryta® (voxelotor) as the first treatment to directly inhibit sickle hemoglobin polymerization, the root cause of SCD. Other investigative medicines include a potential treatment to limit the frequency of vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) and multiple other shots on goal for SCD. 

Located on Oyster Point Boulevard in South San Francisco, GBT is looking for new talent to fill more than 80 positions, including:

Director, Clinical Operations. GBT is open to hiring the right person to work remotely from anywhere in the U.S. for this prime leadership position.

Associate Director, Pharmacovigilance Operations. Another remote opportunity for a vigilant leader with 10 or more years of pharmacovigilance experience in an operational and compliance position.

 Nektar Therapeutics

San Francisco-based Nektar Therapeutics is focused on curing cancer and autoimmune disease using polymer chemistry, a unique approach to drug design that uses optimized pharmacology to create new molecular entities. 

Nektar is leveraging this technology to develop five clinical-stage investigational drugs with partners Bristol Myers Squibb, Biogen, Eli Lilly & Co., and Vaccibody. The company’s lead immuno-oncology candidate, bempegaldesleukin, is an IL-2 pathway agonist designed to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. It is currently being tested in phase III for a number of indications in combination with BMS’s OPDIVO®. In February, Nektar inked a co-development deal with SFJ Pharmaceuticals to advance bempegaldesleukin in head and neck cancer.

With all of these programs, it is no wonder Nektar is sourcing new talent for more than 50 positions. Here are just a couple. 

Clinical Trial Manager. If any (or all) of the above programs appeal, this role might be the right fit. The successful applicant will have eight years of pharmaceutical development experience, with at least two years overseeing trials. 

Principal Medical Science Liaison (MSL)-Northeast. A remote opportunity for a creative, technical, and scientifically-minded individual hailing from the Northeast.

 Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc.

This genomic medicine company touches on many of biotech’s hottest areas including gene therapy, cell therapy, and in vivo genome editing. Sangamo’s diverse preclinical and clinical-stage pipeline is aimed at solving life-limiting diseases like Hemophilia A, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Phenylketonuria (PKU), and Fabry disease.

In July 2020, Sangamo entered into a collaboration with Novartis to develop and commercialize gene regulation therapies for three neurodevelopment targets, including autism spectrum disorder. The agreement leverages Sangamo’s proprietary genome regulation technology, zinc finger protein transcription factors (ZFP-TFs), which aims to upregulate the expression of genes in these disorders.

Anyone wishing to participate in this mission should check out one of Sangamo’s available positions. A Research Associate III/IV job is one of many associate-level opportunities currently on the board. There are also openings for a few scientist-level positions, including a Research Scientist, Molecular Biology.  

Sana Biotechnology

This cell and gene therapy hybrid is developing its cell engineering platform to deliver any payload to any cell in a specific, predictable and repeatable way. Sana is aiming this technology at a wide range of oncologic, genetic, CNS, and cardiovascular targets in a currently all preclinical pipeline. 

Sana has been vocal about its culture of inclusion, diversity and equity (IDE), which leadership believes is paramount to its patient-centric culture. By tapping Head of Development Operations, Farah Anwar, as its IDE leader, Sana has ensured that a senior executive is privy to the people dynamics as well the medical ones. 

Sana is currently looking to bring on board a Head of Facilities to spearhead its capital project master plan, a Principal Scientist, Genomics Core to advance this key technology, and a Cloud Systems Administrator to oversee the design.

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