Senior Scientist, Drug Product Development

Jan 09, 2021
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

We are seeking a talented and experienced individual to join Sana Early Stage Process Development team as a Drug Product and formulation development lead. This role will be responsible for formulation development and preclinical production of sterile injectable gene therapy Drug Product. It is a unique opportunity to establish a manufacturing platform for a novel biopharmaceutical modality and to advance lead candidates into clinical trials.

  • Lead early stage Drug Product development of novel tissue-specific lentiviral vectors (LVV) for in vivo administration
  • Work with Therapeutic areas and Pharmacology/Toxicology teams to define the in vivo LVV dosage forms
  • Optimize liquid and frozen formulations of LVV Drug Substance and Drug Product
  • In collaboration with the Analytical Development team, design and execute IND-enabling stability studies
  • Characterize changes in biological activity and biophysical profile of LVV during processing and storage
  • Develop and perform routine stability-indicating biophysical assays
  • Establish in-process hold times and expiry of Drug Substance and Drug Product
  • Working with the Drug Substance development team, define key parameters of the Downstream process impacting LVV biophysical profile
  • Select container closure systems and establish compatibility with LVV
  • Develop the process for drug product compounding, sterile filtration, aseptic filling, freezing and thawing, and dose preparation protocols
  • Produce LVV Drug Product batches to supply in vivo Proof-of-Concept and IND-enabling toxicology studies
  • Working with CMC teams, participate in a CMO site assessment and perform technology transfer of the Drug Product process.
  • Responsible for authoring documentation, such as batch records, sampling plans, stability study designs, development reports, and CMC regulatory submissions
  • Trend stability data, perform statistical analysis and present results to teams
  • Maintain thorough electronic notebook records
  • Perform housekeeping duties in the lab, including equipment maintenance and ordering supplies


Basic Qualifications
  • PhD. in pharmaceutical sciences, organic/physical/analytical chemistry, or chemical/biochemical engineering with up to 5 years of experience in academic research or industry or BA/MS with 8+ years of experience
  • Expertise in a wide range of biochemical and biophysical characterization tools for small molecules and biologics
  • Strong knowledge of biophysical characterization methods of visible and sub-visible particles
  • Experience in sterile drug product development
  • Familiarity with formulation development of viruses or lipid nanoparticles
  • Understanding of regulatory guidelines for GLP and GMP Drug product manufacturing
  • Ability and willingness to work in a laboratory setting
  • Hands-on experience with manual and automated sterile fill operations
  • A team player, participating in cross-functional teams and able to lead
  • Excellent communication, documentation, and presentation skills
  • The candidate should be highly organized, demonstrate curiosity and scientific rigor and excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to engage in crucial conversations - providing and receiving feedback
  • Working knowledge of the DoE approach to experimentation and statistical analysis

Preferred Qualifications
  • cGMP cell or gene therapy manufacturing experience
  • Experience in expression and purification of viral vectors
  • Knowledge of biochemical and biophysical methods to characterize viral vectors
  • Skilled in cell-based assays, ELISA, and FACS
  • Experience with cell culture, upstream, and downstream bioprocess development
  • Process modeling, programming, and automation
  • Cross-functional project management and leadership experience
  • Tech transfer and working with CMOs
  • Familiar with FDA and EU regulations and GMP standards


The incumbent should be able to operate safely in a BSL2 class laboratory environment and perform aseptic operations in a biosafety cabinet. Occasional travel may be required up to 10% of the time.


The job will require to occasionally lift up to 50 lbs.


This position offers an opportunity to have direct reports as the organization grows.