Process Development Scientist/Senior Scientist/ Engineer/Sr. Engineer

Nkarta Inc
South San Francisco, CA, United States
Nov 01, 2020
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time
Process Development Scientist/Senior Scientist/ Engineer/Sr. Engineer

Founded at the birthplace of biotechnology, Nkarta's mission is to discover, develop and deliver novel off-the-shelf (e.g. allogeneic) natural killer (NK) cell therapies that profoundly impact patients' outcomes and survival . The company is based on the proprietary, robust and well-characterized NK cell expansion technology pioneered by Dr. Dario Campana. Nkarta is focused on leveraging the inherent power of NK cells to identify and kill abnormal cells and recruit adaptive immune effectors to generate responses that are deep and durable.

Nkarta combines its NK cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies to generate an abundant supply of NK cells, engineer enhanced NK cell recognition of tumor targets, and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body for the treatment of cancer.

Founded in 2015, Nkarta became a public company (Nasdaq symbol NKTX) in 2020. Our development pipeline of engineered NK cell therapy candidates consists of two co-lead programs, NKX101 and NKX019. The IND for NKX101 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory AML and higher-risk MDS was accepted by the FDA in July 2020. We expect to begin dosing patients in this study by the end of 2020. As we broaden the development of NKX101, we also plan to initiate studies in solid tumors. Our second co-lead program, NKX019, is designed to target B cell lymphomas. We plan to file our IND for NKX019 with the FDA in early 2021. In addition, we recently completed the construction of a GMP compliant clinical manufacturing facility in our South San Francisco location designed to produce viral vector and supply our initial clinical trials.

Position Title Process Development Scientist/Sr. Scientist/ Engineer/Sr. Engineer

Location South San Francisco

Reports to Associate Director, Process Development

Position Summary

This role adds to the build out and further development of our growing process development team with the advancement of the production and analytics capability for Nkarta's NK products.

Key Responsibilities
• Develops cell therapy production processes using quality-by-design principles.

• Optimizes processes and procedures to collaboratively create manufacturing efficiency, process robustness and reduced costs.

• Identifies and supports the development of critical product-specific analytical methods for the characterization and release of cell therapy products.

• Demonstrates a high level of initiative in troubleshooting experiments and accurate data analysis.

• Participates in cross-functional collaborations to meet project timelines and material supply requirements.

• Evaluates and implements novel process technologies.

• Prepares technical reports and supports investigational new drug (IND) chemistry-manufacturing-control (CMC) section writing.

• Provides guidance through presentation of hypotheses, progress, and plans to project teams and governance bodies

• Publishes or presents scientific findings in peer-reviewed journals, at conferences, and contributes to corporate collaborations

• Designs and executes experiments independently or in teams; accurately records, analyzes, and communicates data to senior staff and team members.

• Presents results in team meetings and delivers presentations to both small and large groups.

Position Requirements

• Thorough understanding of Design of Experiment (DOE) and Quality by Design (QBD).

• Highly organized, detail-oriented individual with strong problem-solving skills.

• Excellent verbal and written skills for documentation of data, drafting of technical reports, and communication of progress to supervisor and project teams.

• Must be able to communicate and multi-task within a fast-paced, highly collaborative team environment with a high degree of self-motivation and organization

• Embodies the company culture of empowerment, diversity, and inclusion.


• Experience with suspension based-bioreactor for the culture of mammalian-cell growth

• Experience and ability to utilize flow cytometry

• Past background with GMP manufacturing of cell therapy or biological products.

• Experience with high-throughput screening with platforms such as Cellomics CX5/CX7 or InCell

• A background in production of cell therapies

• Viral transduction principles and processes experience.

Education / Background

MS in Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering, Process Engineering and 3-6+ years of biopharmaceutical industry experience in a development setting or PhD degree in Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering, Process Engineering with 2 + years of biopharmaceutical industry experience in a development setting.

Working Environment

This position requires the ability to occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities for this job include close vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. The common requirements of an office environment (computers, computer screens, workstations, etc.) apply when not working in or around the laboratory environment. Willing and able to travel up to 10% via car and plane a requirement.

About Nkarta

The 70+ team members at our South San Francisco, California headquartered location describe working at Nkarta, along with opportunities for improvement, in some of the following ways:

• "Work is interesting - lots of projects in the pipeline (so I don't have to worry about the one project failing). Leadership is open, straight forward."

• "Smart, capable, nice people. People I work with day to day are enjoyable."

• "Employee-centric."

• "I like that the company is open minded with a (people) -(looking for) a set of skills that can grow (as opposed to thinking you have to have exactly what's in a job spec now) Things that broaden their (employees) skills and growth."

• "Like any startup there are fires to put out; feel confident we have the people to control those fires."

• "Diverse people from different backgrounds."

To learn more about our work at Nkarta and the career opportunities that will drive us forward to serve patients, please visit the company's website at