Senior Validation Engineer

AveXis Inc.
Durham, NC, US
Feb 01, 2019
Bio NC
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Ready to join a team committed to moving gene therapies into the clinical and commercial settings for patients and families devastated by rare neurological genetic diseases? AveXis is advancing cutting-edge science to treat rare and life-threatening genetic diseases starting with our clinical-stage, proprietary gene therapy candidate, AVXS-101 (ZOLGENSMA®). We are in the midst of an incredible journey and are looking for passionate individuals to join us on this important mission.

AveXis, Inc., a Novartis Company , is a clinical-stage gene therapy company, dedicated to developing and commercializing novel treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Our initial product candidate, AVXS-101, is our proprietary gene therapy product candidate currently in development for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, Type 1, the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, and for the treatment of SMA Type 2. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has granted AVXS-101 Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of all types of SMA and Breakthrough Therapy Designation, as well as Fast Track Designation for the treatment of SMA Type 1. In addition to developing AVXS-101 to treat SMA Type 1 and Type 2, we also plan to develop other novel treatments for rare neurological diseases, including Rett syndrome (RTT) and a genetic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene.

The Senior Validation Engineer will be a subject matter expert in the Commissioning and Qualification program and provide leadership in validation of equipment, utilities, and processes. Responsibilities include developing a tailored approach for each project they are assigned including; assessing vendor validation packages, performing gap analysis to User Requirements, developing plans and protocols using a risk-based approach that comply with company policies and procedures, and completing trace matrices. The role will also be responsible for reporting progress and roadblocks to the project team(s).


  • Development of Commissioning and Qualification policies and procedures to enhance the company's ability to conform to and maintain compliance with site, corporate and regulatory standards.
  • Project execution plan development and management of small to medium size projects.
  • Hire and manage commissioning contractors to perform tasks as required.
  • Author or manage authoring of commissioning, qualification and validation plans, validation protocols, validation summary reports and requirement trace matrices.
  • Liaise with client end user groups to ensure correct specification of equipment and utilities.
  • Validation using risk-based approach (FMEA, PHA, etc.).
  • Perform risk assessments to confirm safe and compliant designs and recommend additional controls as required.
  • Review project documentation (URS, FRS, Technical Specifications, Functional Specifications).
  • Review process models and sizing calculations for process equipment, control valves, etc.
  • Participate in discussions with internal business partners on priorities, timelines and transparent sharing of information.
  • Partner with Quality to ensure a quality and compliant manufacturing environment.


    • Bachelor's degree in Engineering, Science or related technical field.
    • Minimum of 7 years of experience in biotechnology GMP manufacturing operations including experience in cell culture, recovery, purification, aseptic fill/finish.
    • Minimum of 7 years of experience in the design or operation of commercial grade pharmaceutical or biotechnology process equipment and utilities (compressed gas, hoods and cold storage).
    • Ability to read/interpret engineering drawings and design documents.
    • Excellent technical writing and verbal communication skills.
    • Must be people oriented and a team player.
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, and Visio.
    • Familiarity with the following equipment; pumps, fermentors, centrifuges, UF/DF systems, TFF systems, chromatography columns, fillers, autoclaves, parts washers.
    • Experience managing 3rd parties (both in-sourcing and outsourcing).
    • Ability to prepare contingency plans and logically work through complex issues in a high-pressure situation.

The level of this position will be based on the final candidate's qualifications.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

AveXis is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, genetics, disability, age, sexual orientation or veteran status.