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Director of Pharmacology

Juvena Therapeutics

Juvena Therapeutics

Palo Alto, CA, USA · United States · Canada · Mexico
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2023

Position Description

Juvena Therapeutics is seeking a talented scientist and experienced leader with management experience to supervise the pharmacology team. This position is for a leader with a high scientific caliber, diverse preclinical experience spanning across multiple therapeutic areas, with technical and scientific flexibility to execute and achieve the company’s goals. This individual has previous experience in working as a dynamic leader in an intimate and fast paced start-up focused on the discovery, preclinical validation, and clinical translation of novel biologics for chronic and rare degenerative diseases across multiple therapeutic areas such as neuromuscular, pulmonary, and metabolic-related diseases. This position would manage the in vivo pharmacology efforts at Juvena with a particular focus on preclinical disease model development, design and implementation of in vivo efficacy studies for target validation. This individual will work closely and collaboratively with the department heads across data sciences, discovery, nonclinical and clinical teams to expand Juvena’s platform and execute on critical in vivo studies for unraveling secretome biology to develop novel disease-modifying biologics. Reporting to the VP Preclinical and Nonclinical Development, this individual will be responsible for supervising Juvena’s team of in vivo researchers dedicated to developing a pipeline of disease-modifying biologics, with a broad focus across metabolic, pulmonary and neuromuscular diseases and may be asked to perform wetlab experiments on occasion to support the pharmacology teams efforts.

*Title commensurate with experience.

Company Summary

Juvena Therapeutics is on a mission to discover and develop biologics for rare and chronic degenerative diseases by mining the secretomes of human pluripotent stem cells through a machine learning (ML)-enhanced platform. Juvena’s approach integrates proteomics, transcriptomics and imaging with phenotypic human in vitro disease model screening and extensive preclinical validation to mine stem cell secretomes as a rich source of new medicines for chronic and rare diseases. We are advancing leads for muscular dystrophies, muscle atrophy, injury, and osteopathies. Since our launch in mid-2018, Juvena has discovered and validated 22 hits for neuromuscular, skeletal, and metabolic diseases. Juvena is advancing a lead program for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, a rare autosomal dominant, progressive muscle-wasting disease.

Juvena Therapeutics has secured venture capital, NIH, and CIRM funding to develop their top lead to a clinical-stage investigational new drug, to build their stem cell secretome database, and to leverage their discovery platform to rapidly identify and validate novel protein-based drug candidates for multiple rare and chronic diseases across inflammatory, cardiometabolic and hepatic therapeutic areas. At Juvena we embrace a diversity of backgrounds, experience and approaches that all combine to lead us to world-class scientific results in an inclusive environment.

  • Lead efforts to expand Juvena’s in vivo pharmacology capabilities across multiple organ model systems to support growth of our biologics platform, with a particular focus on pulmonary and metabolic diseases.
  • Work closely with the preclinical team members to design and execute in vivo experiments to support research and development of Juvena’s drug candidates for treatment of various rare and chronic degenerative diseases
  • Manage lab associates/scientists to deliver high-quality results in a fast-paced setting
  • Design and execute experiments following appropriate laboratory procedures and guidelines
  • Must be proficient in murine handling, dosing (PO, IV, IP, SC), survival and terminal blood collection (SM, tail nick, cardiac puncture), and tissue harvesting at necropsy including fixation, freezing and tissue disaggregation to support ex vivo analyses
  • Work closely with the nonclinical development team to establish translational capabilities for transition of lead drug candidates into the clinical development
  • Support IND-enabling studies for biologics, internally and externally via CRO project management across all phases of Juvena’s discovery and development
  • Perform tissue processing for molecular, biochemical and histological analysis
  • Carry out high throughput staining and image analysis
  • Prepare presentations, technical reports, summaries, protocols
  • Keep current with advances in the company’s area of research interest and lead journal club discussions of latest literature and research discoveries
  • Contribute to a dynamic and exciting culture that embraces teamwork and innovation
  • PhD with 6+ years of industry experience (or equivalent) in drug discovery and early development setting
  • Demonstrated ability to advance programs from discovery through lead identification and IND with biologics such as fusion proteins, bispecifics, antibody or antibody drug conjugates, preferably in the regenerative medicine space and/or inflammatory, cardiovascular, metabolic disease areas
  • Understanding of how in vivo pharmacology data fits into bioinformatics and machine learning applications for drug discovery, target identification and validation
  • Experience in GMP/GLP documentation and IND filing
  • Experience interfacing with multiple key stakeholders in a dynamic environment to enable real-time prioritization
  • Strong communication skills
  • Highly self-motivated, independent, and driven to succeed
  • Prior success with research in a hands-on, highly collaborative growth environment
  • The ability to work effectively both independently and as part of multidisciplinary team in a fast-paced environment
  • Documented experience in regenerative medicine
  • Successful track record of indication selection and prioritization analyses
  • Direct experience in managing IND-enabling studies with significant contribution to FDA-approved INDs
  • Familiarity with pre-commercial process

Compensation and Benefits

  • Competitive salary and annual bonus and stock options
  • Health/Dental/Vision insurance
  • Paid vacation and holidays
  • More benefits coming soon (including initiation of 401(k) matching program)

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