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Director, Oligonucleotide Chemistry Lead

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.
San Rafael, California
Start date
May 20, 2024

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Science/R&D, Chemistry
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
Biotech Bay, Best Places to Work

Job Details

Who We Are

BioMarin is the world leader in delivering therapeutics that provide meaningful advances to patients who live with serious and life-threatening rare genetic diseases. We target diseases that lack effective therapies and affect relatively small numbers of patients, many of whom are children. These conditions are often inherited, difficult to diagnose, progressively debilitating and have few, if any, treatment options. BioMarin will continue to focus on advancing therapies that are the first or best of their kind.

BioMarin’s Research & Development group is responsible for everything from research and discovery to post-market clinical development. Research & Development involves all bench and clinical research and the associated groups that support those endeavors. Our teams work on developing first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutics that provide meaningful advances to patients who live with rare diseases. Come join our team and make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives.

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented Associate Director to lead the Oligonucleotide Chemistry team within Research at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc. We are looking for a candidate with extensive experience in oligonucleotide drug discovery to drive the design and development of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics including antisense oligonucleotides and siRNA. The candidate will work closely with cross-functional partners within the modality and therapeutic areas to develop novel oligonucleotide therapeutic candidates for in vitro and vivo screening, POC, and MOA studies. Experience in successfully leading the development of multiple oligonucleotide-based modalities and experience with targeted extra-hepatic delivery of nucleic acids is highly desired. Working knowledge of technical transfer, scale up, and manufacturing is also desired. The candidate must be ready to drive scientific innovation with oligonucleotide-based therapeutics within the research organization at BioMarin.

The candidate will interface with team leads across therapeutic areas including cardiology, neuroscience, musculoskeletal and hematology to advance our most promising research programs for rare genetic diseases. The candidate will participate effectively in a multidisciplinary team and will lead projects from research through early development to drive effective decision making. Strong leadership, communication and collaboration skills are essential for this role. This position offers a unique career opportunity to work on an exciting oligo pipeline across multiple therapeutic areas and modalities.


  • Provide strategic guidance on design and execution of oligo-based drug discovery programs. 
  • Lead the Oligonucleotide Chemistry Team ensuring the timely delivery of high quality, well characterized material to support oligo programs across the research portfolio.  
  • Integrate chemistry and delivery strategies in collaboration with the Bioconjugation and Analytical leads to develop and optimize oligonucleotide therapeutics.
  • Identify and implement new technologies to enhance drug stability, delivery, and efficacy 
  • Manage and oversee outsourcing of research grade oligonucleotide synthesis at CROs and coordinate tech transfer to technical operations for GLP/GMP campaigns. 
  • Regularly review the literature for current advancements with novel nucleic acid chemistries, techniques, and delivery strategies.
  • Represent the Oligonucleotide Modality in internal and external scientific meetings. 

  • Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry, oligonucleotide chemistry, chemical biology, or medicinal chemistry, with 6+ years of relevant industry experience in biotech or pharmaceutical companies, is required.  
  • Significant hands-on experience in the development of oligonucleotide therapeutics is required. 
  • Expertise in oligonucleotide chemistry is required 
  • Knowledge of current advancements in methods oligonucleotide synthetic chemistry and characterization is desired
  • Diverse experience with nucleic acid modalities, modification chemistries, and mechanism of action is desired
  • A record of accomplishments/publications in relevant scientific discipline 

Equal Opportunity Employer/Veterans/Disabled

An Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.


BioMarin is a global biotechnology company dedicated to transforming lives through genetic discovery. In 1997, the company was founded to make a big difference in small patient populations, focusing on giving much-needed attention to the underserved communities of those with rare diseases. BioMarin sought to help patients whose voices could not always be heard and treat conditions that were not always in mainstream medical conversations. Throughout its history, BioMarin has worked tirelessly to make a difference by pursuing bold science. The company’s first approved therapy was inspired by a father who refused to accept there was no therapy for his son’s rare diagnosis. That relentless pursuit to change the course of his son’s future through the power of science is at the core of who BioMarin is today.

Through the company’s expertise in genetics and molecular biology, BioMarin has developed eight first or best-in-class targeted therapies that address the root cause of the conditions it seeks to treat, helping to better the lives of those struggling with rare genetic disease. The company’s purposeful and scientifically precise team of physicians and scientists has honed each treatment modality to seek transformative therapies.

Now, BioMarin seeks to make an even greater impact by applying the same science-driven, patient-forward approach that propelled the last 25 plus years of drug development to larger genetic disorders, as well as genetic subsets of more common conditions. Each drug candidate pursued is guided by a fundamental understanding of the genetics and underlying biology of the condition it will address. The company believes that applying its knowledge to make a transformative impact is not just a calling, but an obligation to those who will benefit most. The more innovative solutions developed, the more lives BioMarin can impact.

Company info
United States

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