Head of oligonucleotide medicinal chemistry

94107, San Francisco
Competitive salary, bonus, stock options and benefits
Aug 21, 2020
Required Education
Position Type
Full time


Switch Therapeutics is a venture backed startup company developing a new generation of RNAi therapies based on revolutionary technologies invented at Caltech, City of Hope and Harvard Medical School.

We are seeking a highly experienced oligonucleotide medicinal chemist to lead in-house research efforts and manage external collaborations.  Primary responsibilities will include leading the development and execution of protocols for manufacturing and quality control, managing external contract manufacturing activities, and contributing expertise to improving pharmacologic properties for therapeutic RNAi agents.

Successful applicants will have a demonstrated track record of excellence and leadership in oligonucleotide medicinal chemistry, a strong desire to work in a highly collaborative, creative and dynamic startup environment, and the ability to build an innovative and adaptable medicinal chemistry operation to meet the rapidly evolving needs of a young company.  Because we are still a small team, the successful candidate will need to perform significant hands on bench work.

The principal scientist will lead manufacturing and medicinal chemistry related efforts, reporting directly to the Chief Technology Officer.  They will also work closely with the biology team.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Organization and adaptation of the medicinal chemistry operation in response to evolving company needs.
  • Development and implementation of protocols and processes for the assembly, purification, storage and quality control of RNAi therapeutics.
  • Development and implementation of protocols for the transfer and use of RNAi therapeutics by internal and external research teams.
  • Management of GLP and GMP scale manufacturing efforts at external CMCs.
  • Contribution of expertise to medicinal chemistry optimization efforts for therapeutic candidates. 
  • Contribution of expertise to internal and external multidisciplinary research efforts in biology and pharmacology.
  • Writing study reports and maintaining accurate electronic records. Presenting data at internal/external meetings.

Experience and qualifications:

The ideal candidate is an experienced scientist with at least 5 years of post-PhD industry experience in oligonucleotide medicinal chemistry.  He or she will ideally have held principal ownership for medicinal chemistry, manufacturing or QC related issues in prior oligonucleotide drug development programs. 

General qualities:

  • PhD with at least 5 years of relevant industry experience
  • Proven track record of success and innovation in oligonucleotide medicinal chemistry and manufacturing
  • Comfortable in a small team environment requiring multi-tasking and close, multi-disciplinary collaboration
  • Willingness to take ownership of challenging technical issues under tight timelines
  • Desire to work in a highly dynamic startup environment and help build up company operations
  • Strong technical, analytical, communications, time-management and personnel management skills

Pertinent prior experience:

  • Expertise in large scale manufacturing of multi-stranded oligonucleotide complexes a plus
  • Principal responsibility in siRNA or other oligonucleotide therapeutics medicinal chemistry, manufacturing, QC and formulation
  • Management of CMC relationships for GLP and GMP manufacturing
  • Involvement at multiple stages of drug development programs from discovery to clinical trials
  • Experience working in both small and large companies

Technical skills:

  • Deep expertise in oligonucleotide medicinal chemistry
  • Deep expertise in GMP oligonucleotide manufacturing
  • Extensive knowledge of synthesis, analysis, and purification technologies for oligonucleotide therapeutics (eg, solid supported and solution synthesis, liquid chromatography technologies, affinity purification and lateral flow, HPLC, LC-mass spec)

Switch Therapeutics is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.