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Scientist I, Research & Development

Employer
Vaxcyte, Inc.
Location
San Carlos, California
Start date
Jan 29, 2024

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Discipline
Regulatory, Science/R&D, Biotechnology, Research
Required Education
Doctorate/PHD/MD
Position Type
Full time
Hotbed
Biotech Bay

Job Details

Company Profile:
 
Vaxcyte, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCVX) is a vaccine innovation company engineering high-fidelity vaccines to protect humankind from the consequences of bacterial diseases. The Company is developing broad-spectrum conjugate and novel protein vaccines to prevent or treat bacterial infectious diseases. Vaxcyte’s lead candidate, VAX-24, is a 24-valent, broad-spectrum, carrier-sparing pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) being developed for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). The Company is re-engineering the way highly complex immunizations are made through modern synthetic techniques, including advanced chemistry and our exclusively licensed XpressCFTM cell-free protein synthesis platform. Unlike conventional cell-based approaches, the Company’s system for producing difficult-to-make proteins and antigens is intended to accelerate its ability to efficiently create and deliver high-fidelity vaccines with enhanced immunological benefits. Vaxcyte’s pipeline also includes VAX-31, a 31-valent PCV candidate; VAX-A1, a prophylactic vaccine candidate designed to prevent Group A Strep infections; VAX-PG, a therapeutic vaccine candidate designed to slow or stop the progression of periodontal disease; and VAX-GI, a vaccine program designed to prevent Shigella. The Company is driven to eradicate or treat invasive bacterial infections, which have serious and costly health consequences when left unchecked. For more information, visit www.vaxcyte.com.
 
Vaxcyte, headquartered in San Carlos, CA, went public in June 2020 and currently has a team of approximately 180 employees and anticipates continued, significant growth. Following equity offerings in October 2022 and April 2023, which generated over $1.1 billion in net proceeds, the Company’s balance sheet is further strengthened to advance its pipeline of novel vaccines, including VAX-24. These financings followed positive data readouts from Vaxcyte’s Phase 1/2 proof-of-concept study evaluating VAX-24 in adults aged 18-64 and Phase 2 study in adults 65 and older. The Company believes these results support a best-in-class potential for VAX-24, which was designed to replace the current standard-of-care in adults and children. VAX-24 is being investigated for the prevention of IPD, which can be most serious for infants, young children, older adults and those with immune deficiencies or certain chronic health conditions. Given the global impact of pneumococcal disease remains significant, the public health community continues to advocate for vaccines that can offer broader protection to prevent IPD. Vaxcyte’s PCV franchise, consisting of VAX-24 and VAX-31, is designed specifically to address this need and has the potential to deliver the broadest protection for this very serious disease. We believe that our PCVs could receive regulatory approval based on successful completion of clinical studies utilizing well-defined surrogate immune endpoints, consistent with how other PCVs have obtained regulatory approval in the past, rather than requiring clinical field efficacy studies.
 
Summary:
 
Vaxcyte is looking for a conjugation Scientist, Research and Development who will contribute to the research and development of a novel bacterial polysaccharide conjugate vaccine. Specifically, this will include initial set up, synthesis, purification, and analytical characterization of chemically modified polysaccharides and polysaccharide-protein conjugates. The ideal candidate will have an excellent understanding of analytical chemistry principles and significant laboratory experience. The successful candidate will be expected to optimize and troubleshoot the synthesis and purification procedures independently with minimal guidance. The candidate will also contribute when needed to a range of related areas such as analytical development and stability studies. Responsibilities will additionally include record management, data presentation at group meetings, and contributing to the authorship of laboratory protocols and development reports.
Essential Functions:
    • Set up, optimize, and troubleshoot multi-step syntheses of protein-polysaccharide conjugates using click-chemistry and other related chemical reactions.
    • Purify polysaccharides and conjugates using a variety of methods including dialysis, FPLC chromatography, and tangential flow filtration (TFF).
    • Analyze polysaccharides and conjugates with methods including colorimetric assays, HPLC assays, NMR, and SEC-MALS.
    • Design and coordinate preclinical animal studies to evaluate the efficacy of conjugates.
    • Determine and elucidate the process required to ensure consistent, robust, large-scale conjugation processes suitable for manufacturing production.
    • Training junior scientists in conjugation processes.
    • Maintain highly organized records to enable optimization and assessment of reproducibility.
    • Attend team meetings ready to provide updates on conjugation development progress.
    • Support Vaxcyte’s pipeline development and paper publications as required.
    • Be an outstanding teammate and collaborate across groups both internal and external to Vaxcyte.
    • Cultivate a cohesive, innovative, and productive team environment.

Requirements:
    • PhD in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or related field with 0-2 years of industry experience.
    • Experience with laboratory-scale protein purification methods such as dialysis, diafiltration, and size-exclusion chromatography. Experience with tangential flow filtration (TFF) is required.
    • Working knowledge of analytical methods including colorimetric assays, size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), SDS-PAGE, and Western blotting for characterization of reaction products.
    • Experience performing protein conjugation reactions is required.
    • Understanding of the principles of DoE (Design of Experiments); practical experience with DoE software; proficient in the design and interpretation of statistically modeled experiments.
    • Experience with chemical modification of polysaccharides is desirable.
    • Attention to detail and excellent organizational skills.
    • Strong interpersonal skills: ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in written formats.
    • Self-starter: ability to work in a fast-paced, cross-functional environment and collaborate effectively with other team members.
    • Enthusiasm to learn the new skills and techniques necessary to tackle problems outside of the current area of expertise.
    • All Vaxcyte employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Reports to: Senior Scientist, Research and Development
 
Location: San Carlos, CA
 
Compensation: The compensation package will be competitive and includes comprehensive benefits and an equity component.
 
Salary Range: $114,000 – $124,000
 
 

Company

Vaxcyte, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCVX) is a next-generation vaccine company seeking to improve global health by developing superior and novel vaccines designed to prevent some of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide. Our exclusively licensed cell-free protein synthesis platform and our proprietary know how enable us to design and produce optimized protein carriers and antigens, the critical building blocks of vaccines, in ways that we believe conventional vaccine technologies cannot. Our lead vaccine candidate, VAX-24, is a preclinical, 24-valent broad-spectrum pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) being developed for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease. Our pipeline also includes VAX-XP, a PCV with an expanded breadth of coverage of at least 30 strains; VAX-A1, a prophylactic vaccine candidate designed to prevent Group A Strep infections; and VAX-PG, a therapeutic vaccine candidate designed to slow or stop the progression of periodontal disease by targeting the keystone pathogen responsible for this chronic, oral inflammatory disease.

Company info
Website
Phone
(650) 837-0111
Location
825 Industrial Road, Suite 300
San Carlos
CA
94070
US

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