Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Talus Bio (S21)
Discovering drugs that target the DNA regulome
Seattle
Full-time
6+ years
About Talus Bio

Gene regulators are responsible for interpreting the human genome by switching genes on and off at the correct time in the correct cells, and their malfunction is common across many diseases. While our tools to measure and manipulate DNA itself have matured (DNAseq, CRISPR), we lack effective tools for studying gene regulators.

As a result, gene regulators are often passed over in favor of protein families with established experimental approaches, leading to few drug candidates for this target class. There are over 2,200 proteins in this family, yet less than 2% of them are targeted with FDA-approved drugs. Many of these approved drugs were discovered by serendipity, so we instead are pursuing a systematic approach for the discovery and development of gene regulator drugs.

Our platform measures a drug’s ability to disrupt a gene regulator within its natural, non-engineered cellular environment. Furthermore, a single experiment using the platform measures activity for hundreds of gene regulators simultaneously, providing information on in-cell drug activity and specificity in a single experiment. To accomplish this, we combine innovative cell processing with high-sensitivity quantitative proteomics and advanced downstream analytics.

About the role
Skills: Medicinal chemistry

Role Description

We are seeking a Medicinal Chemist to join our team in a full-time leadership role. The Medicinal Chemist will work as part of a small team to leverage our platform to enable drug discovery for gene regulators. We are looking for a scientific leader interested in solving complex problems in a fast-paced, innovative, early-stage biotech environment.

Responsibilities

Responsible for directing and executing research within medicinal chemistry, including the expansion of the discovery research portfolio into new gene regulator targets Participate as an engaged member of a highly interactive preclinical development team, contributing scientific knowledge and leadership across projects. Effectively communicate and interact with leaders across the organization. Lead a group of scientists and develop high-performing teams with an inclusive and innovative culture. A key aspect of the position is to manage internal and external employees and collaborate with our platform team to optimize lead compounds Qualifications

Required

Ph.D. in chemistry 5-10+ years of medicinal chemistry experience in the drug discovery industry Experience managing and mentoring teams of Ph.D. and non-PhD scientists, as well as managing CROs. A track record of leading project teams to the successful delivery of clinical development candidates Passion to be at the forefront of drug discovery as demonstrated by insightful target recommendations and a history of evaluating novel technologies to enhance drug discovery Publication record, including patents, commensurate with the years of experience Preferred

Experience working on gene regulator targets Experience with covalent strategies for protein inhibition Deep familiarity with cancer biology About Talus Bio

Therapeutic development is on the verge of a revolution. The tools of genome sequencing have helped us discover which proteins are best to target across countless diseases. The problem is that most of these top-tier targets have been written off as undruggable because they don't fit into the "standard" experimental models developed by the pharmaceutical industry. Fundamental breakthroughs in proteomics technology being developed at Talus will allow us to unlock many of these targets for the first time.

Talus Bio's vision is to build a tech-bio therapeutics engine that will unlock the genome regulatory network (the "regulome") for systematic drug development. The regulome is responsible for interpreting the human genome by switching genes on and off at the correct time in the correct cells, and their malfunction is common across many diseases. Currently, less than 20 regulome targets have been drugged, leaving over 400 targets left to be addressed in cancer alone.

Our platform measures a drug’s ability to disrupt a gene regulator within its natural, non-engineered cellular environment. Furthermore, a single experiment using the platform measures activity for hundreds of gene regulators simultaneously, providing information on in-cell drug activity and specificity in a single experiment. To accomplish this, we combine innovative cell processing with high-sensitivity quantitative proteomics and advanced downstream analytics.

The science on which the company was founded was developed at the Altius Institute for Biomedical Research and the University of Washington in Seattle. The initial work was published in Cell Reports in 2020- and further written up in FierceBiotech. Talus Bio's investors include leading venture funds (including NFX, Fifty Years, FundersClub, Pioneer Fund, Axial, Boom Capital, and others), as well as grant support from the National Science Foundation.

Technology

We're looking for people looking to join an interdisciplinary team focused on bringing drug discovery out of the test tube and into the cell. In particular, experts in:

  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Mass Spec Proteomics
  • Data Science and Analytics
  • Data Engineering

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