Shire Project Lead, Discovery Chemistry in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Responsible and accountable for executing program-level new chemical entity Medicinal Chemistry strategy to deliver preclinical development candidates to meet Shire’s portfolio objectives. Integrates activities with other groups within Discovery Therapeutics (e.g. Protein Production and Analytics) and other major functions in Shire (e.g. Discovery Biology and Pharmaceutical Sciences) to ensure highly collaborative cross-functional research execution. Major functions supported within Discovery Chemistry include medicinal chemistry, Discovery program leadership, and management of external CRO resources. Effectively engages and directs CRO partners in the execution of discovery chemistry research. Capable of representing the Company in all chemistry related technical matters of significance.


% of Time


Preclinical Program Leadership: Responsible and accountable for the advancement of small molecule discovery programs spanning Hit-to-Lead, Lead-ID and Lead Optimization discovery stages. This will include the identification of lead candidates using a variety of technologies, and optimization of these to deliver preclinical development candidates that meet or exceed prospectively set criteria. Responsible for providing pharmacological tools that enable preclinical proof-of-concept validation studies. Effectively engages in collaboration between Shire internal functions and CRO partners.


Support additional therapeutic modalities (e.g. oligonucleotides, and molecular conjugates) to deliver pharmacological tools and candidates through novel chemistry insights and the production of reagents in support of hypothesis driven research.

Education and Experience Requirements

  • PhD degree in Medicinal Chemistry, or equivalent experience

  • Expected to have at least 8 years of experience in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry, designing, optimizing and delivering high quality new chemical entity drug candidates.

  • Significant experience managing external CROs.

Additional specific responsibilities :

  • Developing and setting appropriate criteria for new chemical entities (NCEs) that help deliver target product profile criteria and meet program requirements.

  • Drafting and critical review of new drug concepts/projects

  • Application of a broad range of lead finding technologies

  • Provide input into the technical risk profile of early Discovery Therapeutics projects

  • Ensure validation and PoC tool molecules, lead molecules and preclinical development candidates meet or exceed required criteria and are produced in a timely manner and in sufficient quantity and quality

  • Effective engagement within Discovery Therapeutics and with Discovery Biology, Nonclinical Development, and Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Effective management CRO partners

  • Contributions at management of externally funded research

  • Provide expert opinion on patent filing strategy, intellectual property and litigation issues

  • Proactively champion patent filings and overall development of a patent portfolio

  • Establish contacts, consult with, and partner with external scientific experts

Other Job Requirements

  • Occasional domestic and International travel

  • Participation in external scientific meetings

Notice to Employment / Recruitment Agents:

Employment / Recruitment agents may only submit candidates for vacancies only if they have written authorization to do so from Shire’s Talent Acquisition department. Any agency candidate submission may only be submitted to positions opened to the agency through the specific Agency Portal. Shire will only pay a fee for candidates submitted or presented where there is a fully executed contract in place between the Employment / Recruitment agents and Shire and only if the candidate is submitted via the Agency Portal. Candidates submitted or presented by Employment / Recruitment Agents without a fully executed contract or submitted through this site shall not be deemed to form part of any Engagement for which the Agency may claim remuneration.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Shire is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse workforce. Shire will not discriminate against any worker or job applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, gender reassignment, non-job related mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, military service, application for military service, or membership in any other category protected under law.

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Reasonable Accommodations

Shire is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If, because of a medical condition or disability, you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, or in order to perform the essential functions of a position, please call 484-595-8400 and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information.

Shire is the leading global biotechnology company focused on serving people with rare diseases and other highly specialized conditions. We strive to develop best-in-class products, many of which are available in more than 100 countries, across core therapeutic areas including Hematology, Immunology, Neuroscience, Ophthalmics, Lysosomal Storage Disorders, Gastrointestinal/Internal Medicine/Endocrine and Hereditary Angioedema; and a growing franchise in Oncology.

Our employees come to work every day with a shared mission: to develop and deliver breakthrough therapies for the hundreds of millions of people in the world affected by rare diseases and other high-need conditions, and who lack effective therapies to live their lives to the fullest.