Principal Scientist/Senior Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry

New York, NY

About the job

Position: Principal Scientist/Senior Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry

Company: Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals

Location: Remote (USA); preference for co-location within the metropolitan New Jersey- New York City area.

Company Background

Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company aspiring to deliver innovative therapeutics to address the unprecedented unmet need for improved mental health treatments. Research to date for NMDA receptor antagonist and 5HT2A receptor agonist prototype molecules has revealed exciting efficacy outcomes and shows promise to be a true leap forward in allowing people to achieve more enjoyable, fulfilled lives. Key therapeutic indications under investigation include MDD, Bipolar Disorder, Substance Use Disorders, and OCD. All Gilgamesh programs are entirely new proprietary chemical entities.

Principal Scientist/Senior Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry

We are seeking a dynamic and experienced professional to join our team as a Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry. The successful candidate will play a pivotal role in driving the design, selection, and advancement of small molecule drug candidates across a variety of CNS targets. This position requires broad-based expertise across chemical synthesis, molecular design, pharmacology, and ADME, and an ability to integrate this diverse expertise to both deliver on individual goals and interface with and assist other members of the company’s small and dynamic team. Specific responsibilities will include management of external chemistry FTEs, compound and synthetic route design, management of compound inventory and logistics, advancement of compounds through a screening funnel to identify development candidates, analysis of biological and ADME data to guide iterative design, and preparation of patent applications. The position will report directly to the CSO/Head of Chemistry and will work closely with multiple colleagues in the discovery team, across chemistry, biology, and ADME functions.

Key Responsibilities:

1. Leadership and Strategy:

· Provide leadership of external chemistry resources working across a variety of programs.

· Analyze and summarize screening data across multiple disciplines to provide recommendations to colleagues and management with respect to program status and future directions.

2. Technical Expertise:

· Utilize knowledge of synthetic chemistry to guide synthetic access to compounds across a wide variety of molecular scaffolds from milligram to gram scale.

· Apply knowledge of chemistry, pharmacology, and ADME to enable iterative design efforts toward novel, drug-like chemical matter targeting a variety of CNS receptors.

· Apply in silico screening and modeling techniques to guide compound design.

· Identify opportunities for intellectual property creation/enhancement and work to efficiently prosecute them when appropriate.

· Analyze and summarize complex data sets. Prepare technical reports, publications, and oral presentations.

3. Project Management:

· Develop and manage work plans that include process development strategies that translate into deliverables and milestones in a constantly evolving work environment.

· Develop contingency plans where necessary.

· Manage all aspects of the company’s outsourced medicinal chemistry activities, including contract management, budget planning, technical collaboration/supervision, and the progression of milestones and deliverables.

· Manage compound inventory and logistics, including delivery of compounds to screening facilities across multiple countries.

· Travel domestically and/or internationally to accomplish objectives, when necessary.

4. Cross-Functional Collaboration:

· Provide project teams with integrated technical, timeline, and budgetary packages to achieve preclinical objectives.

· Work closely with colleagues in biology and ADME to facilitate compound screening and triage.

· Communicate risks and delays to line management/project teams in a timely fashion.

· Partner with Process Chemistry on syntheses to facilitate advancement of candidates into development. Work closely with external partners, CROs, and CDMOs to facilitate transfer of Discovery Chemistry knowledge to enable manufacturing activities.

· Work with preclinical colleagues, Process Chemistry, outsourcing partners, and patent counsel to appropriately expand the Gilgamesh intellectual property portfolio.

· Travel domestically and/or internationally to accomplish objectives, when necessary, including participation in periodic (~semi-annual) in-person meetings of Gilgamesh employees.

5. Continuous Improvement:

• Drive continuous improvement initiatives to enhance the productivity, efficiency, and robustness of medicinal chemistry activities.

• Implement novel technologies and methodologies to stay at the forefront of industry trends.


· PhD in Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, or a related discipline, with a minimum of 5 years (8 years for senior principal scientist level) of industry experience in discovery/medicinal chemistry. A background in total synthesis or related background with exposure to diverse chemical transformations is preferred.

· Proven track record of successful execution and team/program leadership in a pharmaceutical discovery/medicinal chemistry role, with a focus on, intellectual property protection, negotiating and managing contracts. Specific experience in targeting monoamine receptors or other CNS receptors is strongly preferred.

· Working knowledge of pharmacology, ADME, solid state characterization, and other Discovery Chemistry-adjacent functions.

· Experience working with counsel to draft and prosecute patent applications is a must. Additional experience in crafting patent strategy and fundamental knowledge of patent law is a strong plus.

· Strong laboratory skills and knowledge of organic synthesis and pharmaceutical development. Excellence in the use and interpretation of modern analytical techniques.

· Working knowledge of and ability to utilize modern computational docking software, such as Glide (Schrödinger suite), AutoDock, DOCK, and the like.

· Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

· Demonstrated ability to effectively collaborate with cross-functional teams and external partners.

· Demonstrated ability to lead and manage external chemistry resources.

· History of self-starting, multi-tasking, and flexible work style in a fluid environment and an ability to execute independently and be a decision maker without senior level involvement, as appropriate.

· Working knowledge of and experience with controlled substance regulation is a strong plus.

· Ability to understand the business context of projects and adjust execution to align with strategic business and company goals.

If you are a highly motivated individual with a passion for improving the lives of patients with mental health disorders, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity. Gilgamesh offers a competitive salary, equity, benefits package, and opportunities for professional growth and development.

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