Vice President, Discovery Chemistry
Cubist has built an enviable reputation in the biotech industry as a leader in acute care, particularly in bringing forward new life-saving antibiotics. Consistent with our Building Blocks of Growth goals, we are building our pipeline through a combination of licensing, acquisition and internal discovery of new drugs. We recognize the importance of having a vibrant, innovative and productive internal discovery capability and as such we are investing significant resources to support this source of new products.
The Vice President (VP) of Discovery Chemistry carries significant responsibility for ensuring that Cubist meets our pipeline goals of nominating 1 IND every 12-18 months. The quality of these INDs is extremely important once they are moved into clinical development we expect a lower than industry average attrition rate such that many of them to contribute to our late stage pipeline and, ultimately, to become commercialized. The medical application of these new drugs should be predominantly in acute care, with an emphasis on treating infections, consistent with building on our leadership position in delivering innovative, hospital-based therapeutics.
Reporting to the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences and working as a senior executive leader within the broader Discovery and Non-Clinical Development (DNCD) organization, the VP of Discovery Chemistry will
participate in development of overall DNCD strategy and effectively translating it into operational strategy. The role will be ultimately responsible for developing and executing strategy for the Discovery Chemistry organization.
As such, we seek an outstanding "drug hunter" who is able to balance identification of creative new opportunities with corresponding analytical ability to assess a project's probability of successfully yielding medically important and commercially viable products. Of equal importance to an impressive track record of drug discovery, are excellent strategic and operational leadership skills, ability to conceive, articulate and effectively implement long-term vision for the department; ability to gain credibility and trust of a technically sophisticated workforce; proven track record of fostering creative and productive teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, professional development, and significant budget responsibility/management.
Cubist is a fast-paced, growing business undergoing change and you will have shown past successes in both driving business evolution and in helping others embrace the associated, new opportunities.
The line responsibility of this position is leadership of the Discovery Chemistry department, which comprises 40 Cubist-employed scientists based in Lexington and an additional 30 staff whom we access through Contract Research Organizations. Reporting to the VP of Discovery Chemistry are 4 senior level staff - 2 Senior Directors who lead Medicinal Chemistry, 1 Senior Director responsible for Discovery Technologies and 1 Director of External Research who manages our external partnerships.
Cubist's discovery success relies heavily on project teams to help us identify new project opportunities, prosecute them and evaluate their clinical development readiness. Project team leaders leading these efforts are drawn from across our DNCD organization. With extensive experience of moving projects rapidly through discovery, an important role for the VP of Discovery Chemistry is to challenge and mentor project team leaders to ensure their success and to help them develop high performing teams. Successful candidates will therefore demonstrate a strong project and process management orientation.
In summary, the VP of Discovery Chemistry at Cubist is a highly challenging role, which requires a blend of "drug hunter" drive and scientific excellence, along with the ability to inspire, influence and develop others. Consistent with a seasoned scientific executive with outstanding leadership track record, you will be someone who can be depended upon to exercise sound business, scientific and personal judgment. For the right individual, there will be significant rewards from helping Cubist address unmet needs in patients with acute illness to enjoying a highly competitive package of compensation and benefits.
Required Qualifications, Experience and Skills:
- Ph.D. or equivalent in synthetic or medicinal chemistry.
- Typically 20+ years of relevant industry experience plus at least 10 years of leadership experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry with clearly demonstrated ability to conduct original science to solve complex problems.
- Successful track record of drug discovery that has led to multiple INDs moving into clinical evaluation across multiple therapeutic areas.
- Success in leading a discovery organization, with demonstrated ability to deliver on goals by working with and through others. Can point to tangible and significant past contributions to discovery strategy and tactics.
- Should possess a distinguished publication and patent record.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively manage others, from a high-performing, senior team of direct reports, to thoughtfully mentoring project team leaders.
- Proven track-record of success working as a senior leader across functions in a matrix environment, with strong ability to influence stakeholders.
- Excellent communication skills with the demonstrated ability to make effective presentations to a broad range of audiences, from Board of Directors to informal "all hands" internal meetings, as well as to external scientific audiences.
- Experience in driving change and breakthroughs in performance and
innovative solutions, in a complex and dynamic environment.
Preferred Qualifications and Experience:
- Experience of having successfully discovered one or more antibacterial, pain or other acute care-relevant drugs and moved these INDs into the clinic
- Helped support transition of one or more INDs into clinical development by serving on a clinical development team
- Experience of working in both large pharma and biotech environments
- Ability to clearly and effectively communicate ideas, data, and concepts, while adjusting one's style based upon the audience
- Proficient at approaching problems/risks/issues with professionalism, confidence and decisiveness
- Actively expresses thoughts and ideas, even during challenging circumstances
- Re-assesses scientific and business decisions based on new information, improving processes and/or organizational structure, to enable successful implementation of program plans
- Provides ongoing clarity (on both goals and behavior) as needs change, keeping the team aligned with changes both in the external environment and across Cubist as an enterprise
- Engages in active problem-solving and driving issues to resolution
- Works effectively in teams and possesses strong collaboration skills
- Continuously looks for ways to change or improve, while focusing on the big picture, not just a specific activity or task
- Ability to prioritize and deliver against competing priorities
- Pragmatic leader with a focus on value-creating activities, innovation, and results
- Normal business hours, but may occasionally require off-hours duties
- Travel requirements - must be able to travel within US and abroad, typically for up to 1 week at a time, with several trips per year.
- Lifting of items up to 20 pounds
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily within the context of the representative work environment and physical demands described above. Likewise, qualifications listed are representative of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the position's essential functions. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
MassBio is a not-for-profit organization committed to advancing the development of critical new science, technology and medicines that benefit people worldwide.
Founded in 1985, MassBio represents over 600 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, research hospitals, and service organizations involved in life sciences and health care, and works to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs and events, industry information, and services.
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