Vacancy: Principal Scientist – Antibody and Protein Science/Engineering (PS/E)

Job description

Sapreme Technologies is a privately-owned biotech company developing a disruptive technology platform (ENDOSCAPE®), enabling the development of superior targeted and intracellularly active therapeutics such as antibody-drug conjugates and oligonucleotide-based drugs.

You will join an ambitious, entrepreneurial team and develop new medicines for cancer and other indications. Projects span both the internal pipeline as well as pharma- and biotech partnered programs.

In the role of Principal Scientist Antibody and Protein Science and Engineering (PS/E), you will have a key scientific and technology leadership role in the company. In your role, you will select and develop protein ligands and tools, driven by innovation and in-depth scientific insights, based on substantial experience in the drug discovery process of antibody and protein/peptide-based drugs. To this end, the Principal Scientist will be developing a variety of protein reagents, such as antibodies, antibody fragments or non-antibody-based protein/peptide targeting ligands to enable targeted, intracellular delivery of protein-drug conjugates. The Principal Scientist will also contribute to the generation and characterization of intracellularly active therapeutic protein or peptide payloads, and fusion proteins or conjugates thereof for targeted intracellular delivery. In your role, you are responsible and accountable for multiple complex programs and projects that deliver high quality scientific results according to industry state-of-art. The role encompasses the planning and alignment of content and timelines with key stakeholders such as Senior Management, Project Management, outsourcing partners, and with your in-house peers such as the Principal Scientists for Chemistry/Conjugation and In vitro Biology, as well as the In vivo Evaluation Team. In our growing organization, you will initially report to the Chief Scientific Officer.

Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Responsible for protein- or peptide-based targeting ligand and tool identification, their sourcing and functional/biophysical characterization for the different programs and activities of Sapreme.
  • Lead and coordinate all internal and external protein science / engineering activities, such as de novo productions from design stage or reagents sourcing from partner biopharma organizations or commercial providers and CDMOs.
  • Engineer protein reagents to enable targeted/defined bioconjugation to APIs such as oligonucleotides, and to Sapreme’s endosomal escape enhancers; manage internal and external bioconjugation and characterization activities.
  • Engineer, source and characterize novel fusion proteins (e.g., ligand-intrabody) as per program/project requirements and in collaboration with internal and external parties.
  • Set up or contract the functional/biophysical assay development and characterization of the protein reagents according to industry-standards, coordinating closely with in-house groups responsible for chemistry, in vitro and in vivo testing, throughout the process.
  • Prepare technical reports (including project reports, CoAs, and Quality documents), publications and oral presentations.
  • Actively contribute to strategic and scientific discussions as technology expert and content owner.
  • Mentor and train other staff.

Key requirements

  • PhD (or MSc with 10+ years of experience) in Biochemistry, Biophysics, Immunology, or related scientific discipline.
  • A minimum of 3 – 5 years of relevant (industry) experience in leading antibody or protein science and engineering programs (strategy, development plans, execution), ideally in a small-medium enterprise.
  • Substantial experience in design and production of antibodies or other protein-based affinity reagents using state-of-the-art production platforms (immunized animals, naive or synthetic libraries, hybridoma technology or phage/yeast display methods) is a must; experience with therapeutic proteins is highly desirable.
  • Proficient in (industry standard) analytical assay development for protein characterization (such as ELISA, Alphascreen, SPR or BLI, cell-based binding assays such as FACS, IF/IHC).
  • Proficient in developing protein stability and solubility characterization assays such as Tm, Tagg, chemical denaturation determination (i.e., Nanotemper Prometheus, Unchained Labs UNCLE).
  • Familiar with bioconjugation methodologies for e.g., ADCs, as relating to protein ligand side (i.e., Thiomab engineering, glycoengineering based conjugation methods, enzyme-based site-specific conjugation methods).
  • Familiar with statistical and data analysis software such as Excel, GraphPad Prism, FlowJo etc.
  • Knowledge of, and/or work experience with, quality systems and data management tools.
  • Accustomed to CRO identification, Work Plan/Statement of Work definition, and follow-up of outsourced work.
  • Experience with antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), especially with oligonucleotide conjugates, is a strong plus.
  • Excellent understanding of protein/complex biologics manufacturing; experience with cGMP manufacturing, particularly relating to biologics/ADCs, is a strong plus.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills (in English); exceptional interpersonal and management skills to collaborate with and direct the work of others on assigned projects (including both, internal teams and external collaborators).
  • You are accustomed to adhering to deadlines and accept an occasionally enhanced workload.
  • You are comfortable running multiple projects in parallel.
  • You have a high affinity with small biotech R&D companies.
  • You are a self-starter, have a “can-do attitude” and have the necessary resilience and self-motivation required to make a maximum impact in a fast-paced and growing start-up.

The job is based on 40 hrs/week (full-time). Salary will be based on contractual hours and relevant work experience. Initially we offer a fixed-term employment contract for a year. Renewal for an indefinite term may be considered depending on performance and company requirements at that time.

As we are hoping to filling vacancies in the short term, we are considering applications of candidates who are currently eligible to work in The Netherlands only.