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VP, Head of Translational Sciences

Sana Biotechnology

Sana Biotechnology

Cambridge, MA, USA · South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, September 9, 2023

About the role

Sana Biotechnology is growing, and we are hiring new team members who believe in the potential of engineered cells as medicines, who want to challenge status quo, and who lead with the desire to work on novel ideas.

The Head of Translational Sciences will lead both forward and reverse translation of non-clinical and clinical phase programs with oversight of clinical pharmacology, non-clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD), bioanalytical sciences (nonclinical and clinical), non-clinical safety assessment, biomarker development, and translational research. As a senior leader, this role will interface extensively with all areas of research, technical sciences (i.e. genomic engineering, genomic analyses), technical operations (CMC) and clinical sciences as well as the Sana executive team (SET). The Head of Translational Sciences would be a Development Leadership Team (DLT) member.

The VP, Head of Translational Sciences is an experienced leader in drug development in the areas of nonclinical toxicology, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and bioanalytical assay and biomarker development. As an organizational leader, The VP is accountable for overseeing the Translational Sciences business unit including resourcing, budgeting, organizational design and operations to support the Sana portfolio of therapeutics and corporate goals. The VP is accountable to provide the strategic direction and operational implementation for Translational Sciences and sets the vision through resource decision-making; developing corporate and/or organizational policies; providing vision and direction to senior managers across various groups within Translational Sciences and across Sana and is a champion of the Sana values.

As a scientific leader, the VP is accountable for developing or contributing to delivery of scientific and regulatory strategies and ensuring scientific rigor in implementation of non-clinical studies to support decision-making, ensure regulatory acceptability, and inform the clinical development plan in the pre- IND and post-IND phases. The VP is accountable to ensure compliance with GLP standards in support of advancement of therapeutics into the clinic and to the market.

What you’ll do

Scientific Responsibilities

  • Directs the successful integrated interpretation and translation of non-clinical research to human clinical trials, including necessary nonclinical IND/CTA-enabling strategies and studies
  • Guides clinical pharmacology activities to integrate basic biology, biomarker, genomic, transcriptomic, imaging, PK/PD, safety and efficacy data to inform on clinical decision making, mechanisms of response and resistance to therapy, as well as fundamental disease biology
  • Collaborates closely with the tech sciences group to analyze high-dimensional non-clinical and clinical data to enable clinical decision making, understand response and resistance to therapies and ultimately inform our future research strategy
  • Guides exploratory biomarker strategy and study designs and conducts analysis of pathways to find links to disease and response using both non-clinical models and clinical patient samples from all clinical trials
  • Guides identification and integration of new technologies (i.e. imaging, sequencing, proteomics, etc) and new biomarker assays to support translational research for our clinical programs
  • Guides development of bioanalytical assay development, non-clinical PK/PD and non-clinical safety strategies to inform clinical trials
  • Responsible for ensuring implementation of IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies and bioanalytical assays, and quality and compliance at the functional level for IND/CTA and BLA filings for clinical studies
  • Interfaces closely with the technical operations group (CMC) to enable IND/CTA-enabling studies and translational research informing our early-stage clinical studies
  • Serve as a subject matter expert to teams, the R&DLT, Development LT and SET

Leadership Responsibilities

  • Lead a cross functional team responsible for setting, driving and executing the translational research strategy in alignment with Sana corporate goals
  • Ensure seamless collaboration and communication across relevant functions. Work closely and effectively with other functional/sub-functional heads to foster collaborations
  • Develop talent pipeline through recruitment activities and being a mentor, coach and educational resource across Sana; mentor at highest level (ie. outside of area of expertise)
  • Deploy & prioritize resources across functions and projects. Ensure teams are setting realistic timelines in support of corporate goals. Develop functional budgets
  • Lead the translational medicine leadership team and responsible for representing research at SET as well as other internal/external forums
  • Actively contribute as a member of the Development Leadership Team to drive organizational and business goals and operations
  • Partner with the Sana research leaders to establish a 3-5 year strategy and execute on this strategy including leading efforts in new areas of technology, biomarkers, disease biology, and translational science that are in line with our long-term strategy and vision
  • Partner with business development to gain access to new technology and data platforms that will help inform and accelerate our translational research strategy

What we’re looking for

  • Ph.D. or MD/PhD or comparable doctoral degree in a relevant discipline
  • Greater than 10 years’ experience in a pharmaceutical or biotech-based company ideally with multiple years in a matrixed leadership role
  • Background in clinical pharmacology
  • Outstanding scientific depth and breadth with a demonstrated track record of high impact publications and external presence in the field of oncology, or immuno-oncology, translational research
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the drug development process spanning early development (IND- enabling) through post-marketing, including a track record of leading programs from research stage to clinical development and significant contributions to INDs and other regulatory filings/interactions
  • Strong leadership presence and the ability to develop talent; demonstrated ability to lead and influence ideally within a matrixed organization. Demonstrated behaviors consistent with servant leadership
  • Ability to influence and impact decision-making at the highest levels of the organization
  • Experience working with senior leaders (CEO, President, Board members), and equally comfortable leading from the bench. Must be detail oriented and willing to lead/educate junior team members by example
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills; strong ability to translate science

What you should know

  • The base pay range for this position at commencement of employment is expected to be between $300,000 and $375,000/year; however, base pay offered may vary depending on multiple individualized factors, including market location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience

How we work together

  • Lead from every seat – we seek to understand, act with honesty, and engage in the crucial conversations
  • Thrive as a team – we hire amazing people, are intensely curious, and cultivate inclusion and personal connectivity
  • Make it happen – we value vigorous debate, alignment around our decisions, and resilient execution

Get to know us

At Sana, we believe that a diverse workforce strengthens us as a company and helps us to achieve our mission to meaningfully change the outcome of many human diseases. This belief is a pillar of our business and is critical to our success. Our goal is that Sana is the place for talented people to bring their authentic selves to work, to have a great career and to deeply, positively impact patients.

Core to our values, we believe there is nothing more important than the health and wellness of you and your family. For benefit eligible employees, we cover 100% of the cost for employee health coverage and offer generous time-off (various paid time off benefits, such as holidays, vacation, sick time, and parental leave), short- and long-term disability, employer paid basic life insurance, additional voluntary life insurance protection, financial wellness programs including financial planning resources, a 401(k) Plan with an immediately vested employer match, Tuition Reimbursement and Student Loan Repayment, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, commuter subsidy and a variety of wellness offerings to support each person individually. For more details on our benefits, visit Sana’s Benefits Portal.

We are committed to providing a workplace free of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental or sensory disability (including the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability), genetic information, actual or perceived HIV or Hepatitis C infection, medical condition (cancer or a record or history of cancer and genetic characteristics), marital status, sexual orientation, sexual preference, pregnancy (including childbirth and related medical conditions), disability, veteran status, political ideology, social class (including caste/caste identity), taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

To perform this job successfully, you must be able to perform each job responsibility satisfactorily. The job description listed above is representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required for this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions described above.