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Scientist

Employer
4D Molecular Therapeutics
Location
Emeryville, California
Start date
Apr 1, 2024

View more

Discipline
Science/R&D, Biotechnology
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time
Hotbed
Biotech Bay, Best Places to Work

Job Details

Attention recruitment agencies: All agency inquiries are vetted through 4DMT’s internal Talent Acquisition team. No unsolicited resumes will be accepted. Agencies must be expressly engaged by the 4DMT Talent Acquisition team on any requisition. Agencies reaching out directly to hiring managers will not be tolerated and doing so may impact your ability to work with 4DMT in the future.

 

4DMT is a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company harnessing the power of directed evolution for targeted genetic medicines. We seek to unlock the full potential of gene therapy using our platform, Therapeutic Vector Evolution (TVE), which combines the power of directed evolution with our approximately one billion synthetic AAV capsid-derived sequences to invent evolved vectors for use in our products. We believe key features of our targeted and evolved vectors will help us create targeted product candidates with improved therapeutic profiles. These profiles will allow us to treat a broad range of large market diseases, unlike most current genetic medicines that generally focus on rare or small market diseases.  

We have built a deep portfolio of AVV-based gene therapy product candidates, with five product candidates in clinical trials: 4D-150 for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME), 4D-710 for the treatment of cystic fibrosis lung disease, 4D-310 for the treatment of Fabry disease cardiomyopathy, 4D-125 for the treatment of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), and 4D-110 for the treatment of choroideremia. In addition, we have two product candidates in preclinical studies: 4D-175 for geographic atrophy (GA) and 4D-725 for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

To-date, we have demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept for three evolved vectors in three therapeutic areas and routes of administration with five products and patient populations. We believe this validates the power of our directed evolution platform for discovering superior vectors compared to wildtype viral vectors. We have built a robust and efficient product engine with 6 open Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) in the U.S., 1 IND in Taiwan, and 1 Clinical Trial Approval (CTA) in Australia. We believe we are positioned to create, develop, manufacture and, if approved, effectively commercialize targeted genetic medicines that could transform the lives of patients suffering from debilitating diseases.

In addition to TVE, our technology includes a robust AAV manufacturing platform and onsite manufacturing facility that allows us to rapidly produce and test research grade material and scale up to GMP clinical material. This internal capability and close collaboration between our R&D and Manufacturing teams has greatly accelerated the pace of discovery at 4DMT.

Company Differentiators: 

•    Fully integrated clinical-phase company with internal manufacturing
•    Demonstrated ability to move rapidly from idea to IND
•    Five candidate products in the clinic and two declared pre-clinical programs
•    Robust technology and IP foundation, including our TVE and manufacturing platforms
•    Initial product safety and efficacy data substantiates the value of our platforms
•    Opportunities to expand to other indications and modalities within genetic medicine

GENERAL SUMMARY:  

As a Scientist in Vector Innovation you will contribute to improvements to our Therapeutic Vector Evolution platform primarily in novel AAV library design, production, and screening in support of the discovery of novel therapeutic AAV vectors. You will work closely with the entire Vector Innovation & Human Cell and Disease Modelling team onsite to ensure our platform continues to yield best in class novel AAV capsids. 

RESPONSIBILITIES:   

Lab Activities: 75% of TIME 

  • Design and generate new AAV capsid libraries using various diversification techniques  
  • Contribute to the improvement and execution of AAV capsid library screening and selection platform including NHP tissue processing, episomal recovery and sequencing 
  • Independently and effectively design and execute experiments to test new libraries and detection techniques 
  • Draft study designs, protocols, and maintain an electronic lab notebook  
  • Design and execute experiments to meet strict timelines 
  • Additional responsibilities defined by management 

Cross Functional Meetings/Communication: 25% of TIME 

  • Contribute scientific ideas and knowledge in departmental and cross-functional team meetings 
  • Effectively present findings at departmental and cross-functional team meetings 
  • Engage in Vector Innovation study designs for various projects 
  • Present annually at Non-Clinical R&D meeting 
  • Help compile data and author reports for internal and external communication 
  • Communicate effectively with management and their team to achieve departmental and personal goals  

 QUALIFICATIONS:  

Education:  

  • Ph.D. in a relevant scientific field, preferably Virology, Molecular Biology, Genetics or Biochemistry. Exceptional candidates with a Master’s degree and/or significant experience in the AAV gene-therapy will also be considered. 

Experience:  

  • 5+ years of experience within Biotech or similar industry or relevant academic experience 
  • 5+ years of experience in Molecular Biology and cell culturing  
  • Experience in the AAV gene therapy field is preferred 

Technical Skills:  

  • Strong in molecular biology techniques, virus handling and transduction 
  • Solid background in library design, production, and high-throughput screening, with a preference for experience in RNA and DNA-based AAV library design and screening  
  • Knowledge about AAV biology, particularly AAV capsid binding, cell integration and localization to the nucleus   
  • Basic cell culture: adherent, suspension, transfection 
  • Protein identification through Western blotting, flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry 
  • Microscopy and use of imaging software 
  • NGS sequence analysis and bioinformatics experience is ideal but not necessary  

Non-technical Skills 

  • Demonstrated ability to clearly convey complex scientific information to diverse audiences, both verbally and written 
  • Proven capability to work harmoniously within multidisciplinary teams, sharing knowledge and contributing to a positive team dynamic. 
  • Flexibility in responding to changes in priorities or projects and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced research environment. 
  • Creative and critical thinking skills to identify solutions to scientific challenges, with a willingness to explore various approaches. 
  • Strong time-management and prioritization skills, enabling efficient progress on multiple tasks or projects simultaneously. 
  • A commitment to precision in experimental design, data analysis, and documentation, ensuring the integrity and reliability of research findings. 
  • The resilience to persist through setbacks and challenges, maintaining focus on achieving long-term research goals. 
  • An eagerness to learn and stay informed about the latest developments and technologies in the field of AAV gene therapy.
  • A strong sense of ethical responsibility and adherence to regulatory standards and safety protocols in research. 
  • Excellent ability to foster and maintain professional relationships, characterized by empathy, respect, and effective communication. 

Base salary compensation range:

Bay Area Range: $130,000/yr - $154,000/yr

Please note that compensation varies on a variety of factors including experience, location, etc.

4DMT provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, status as a covered veteran, and any other category protected under applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws.   Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

Company

4DMT is a gene therapy company with a transformative discovery platform --Therapeutic Vector Evolution --that enables our “disease first” approach to product discovery and development, thereby allowing us to customize our AAV vectors to target specific tissue types associated with the underlying disease.


At 4DMT we are creating and developing optimized “biopharmaceutical grade” AAV vectors that will allow us uniquely to unlock the full potential of gene therapy. Our customized and proprietary AAV vectors are each designed, according to a 4DMT Target Vector Profile, to deliver genes to specific cells and tissues in the body to eradicate both rare and large market diseases.


While AAV gene therapy pioneers are making great strides with the first wave of products, hurdles still exist with the use of conventional vectors. The most commonly used AAV capsids (e.g., AAV2, 5, 8 and 9) were identified either 1) as contaminants in lab stocks of adenovirus, or 2) through monkey tissue processing. Therefore, these conventional vectors are not targeted specifically to any tissue in the body. This can lead to inefficient and non-specific delivery, thus requiring extremely high doses and potentially resulting in toxicities (including inflammation), high manufacturing burdens and suboptimal efficacy. In addition, suboptimal routes of delivery can be required for delivery to the right tissues (e.g., subretinal delivery to the retina). Finally, pre-existing neutralizing antibodies in many patients can limit efficacy, clinical trial enrollment and market sizes. 4DMT Innovation empowers us to create new and improved next generation AAV capsids to allow targeted delivery of our products by the optimal clinical route of administration.


At 4DMT we use our robust discovery platform, termed “Therapeutic Vector Evolution,” to create customized and proprietary gene delivery vehicles (novel AAV vectors) to deliver genes to specific tissues and cells in the body by the optimal route of administration. We use the power of evolution to create and refine these optimized vectors through genetic diversification and then natural selection in vivo.


4D Purpose Statement:  Boldly Innovating to Unlock the Full Potential of Gene Therapy for Countless Patients


GUIDING PRINCIPLES

 

  • Dare to Cure - Patients are waiting. Create big dreams for patients and take calculated risks to achieve them
  • Break Boundaries - Question the status quo and innovate beyond conventional approaches
  • Beyond Yourself - It's about patients, their families, our team, our families. We strengthen each other.
  • Prepare and Execute Relentlessly - Start with the end in mind, over-prepare and make contingency plans to your contingency plans


We invite all of you who share our passion and vision in creating the ultimate gene therapy products to cure genetic and rare diseases in children and adults. We seek the best people in the industry who identify with our mission and innovative results-driven approach. We offer an inspiring and collaborative environment that encourages individual contributions, recognizes performance in multiple ways, offers generous benefits and provides challenging opportunities for career development. 
 

Company info
Website
Phone
510-505-2680
Location
5858 Horton St. Suite 455
Emeryville
California
94608
United States

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