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AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP IMED Oncology Project Leader / Senior Project Leader in Waltham, Massachusetts

*IMED Oncology Project Leader / Senior Project Leader

AstraZeneca is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, with strong positions in many therapeutic areas of the global pharmaceutical market. At AstraZeneca we work together across global boundaries to make an impact and find answers to challenges. We do this with the upmost integrity even in the most difficult situations because we are committed to doing the right thing. AstraZeneca’s Research & Development is based in several centres of excellence with state of the art facilities in Sweden, United Kingdom and North America, including an important site in Waltham, MA.


Within AstraZeneca, the *Innovative Medicines, Early Development, (IMED) Oncology unit has the accountability for all activities in small molecule oncology research up to the start of Phase 3 clinical studies. The unit aims to deliver compelling preclinical, clinical and translational data packages providing confidence in the dosing strategy, tolerability profile and therapeutic efficacy of our candidate drugs to support investment in Phase 3 clinical development.

Within IMED Oncology, leadership and management of projects occurs within the Early Clinical Projects (ECP) group, with the Head of IMED Oncology Projects reporting to the VP of ECP. Project Leaders have the accountability for the strategy and execution of projects and lead cross-functional teams to deliver these objectives.

As the Oncology Project Leader / Senior Project Leader you will lead the development and execution of the product strategy for one or more projects (both clinical and/or pre-clinical). You will develop a range of strategic and tactical options, secure governance and budget approval, and secure cross-functional resource for the projects and then take accountability for execution, monitoring and reporting of progress / issues. You will articulate the project goals, strategy and the underlying science and clinical need to internal and external audiences with clarity and credibility. You will also ensure delivery of the specific project within the broader context of the portfolio, balancing project and portfolio needs when required.

You will work in a highly effective way with other project leaders, scientific and clinical leaders and external experts to develop integrated project plans which can be delivered across functional boundaries including the delivery of platform studies, non-interventional studies and multi-drug (‘basket’) trials. In this position you will provide effective delivery through both internal groups or through external collaborative studies, with fee-for-service groups or through collaboration. This will ensure that diverse views within the team are heard and that a strongly empowered and motivated team is created.

You will provide highly visible leadership within the oncology community, both within AZ and externally, and support the broader goals of IMED Oncology. This includes developing strong networks with the disease area leadership relevant to their projects and will influence the overall disease area strategy. You will also build strong relationships with downstream customers and will articulate the unmet clinical need and the commercial opportunity addressed by the IMED project.

Key Deliverables

As a Project Leader/Senior Project Leader

·Lead projects from preclinical Lead Optimisation Investment Decision to clinical Proof of Concept (PoC):

·Responsible for all aspects of project strategy including preclinical, translational, clinical development, and regulatory.

·Development of the Target Product Profile, ensuring alignment to the disease area strategy and positioning of project within the broader business and commercial context.

·Ensure alignment with late stage groups such that data packages provide key information needed to drive success in follow-on Phase 3 studies.

·Partner effectively with leaders of portfolio-based combination/ platform studies and appropriate late-stage Global Product Teams.

·Seek to exploit innovative approaches such as study designs and endpoints and novel technologies and to apply best practices (internally and externally) in processes, data analysis, and decision-making.

·Ensure that IP assets of the project are developed, managed and protected.

·Ensure, together with functional leaders in and outside IMED Oncology, that the project team is appropriately resourced (number of FTEs and right talent), including exploration of externalisation opportunities; ensure resources from functions are managed effectively in the project team.

·Ensure that there are robust processes, plans and data to enable Governance Bodies to make investment decisions and prioritise projects across the portfolio.

·Accountable for the delivery of project according to quality, time, budgets and resources.


·Create a vibrant, entrepreneurial and externally facing team focused on the delivery of successful PoCs that support the overall oncology business.

·Build a culture which values focused innovation and is open to challenge and new ideas.

·Build a team that allows all team members to deliver to their maximum through an open and inclusive culture.

·Collaborate strongly with Project Leaders across the enterprise and with colleagues from the ECP group to embed best practice and drive continuous learning.

Talent Management & Development

·Provide high quality feedback and coaching to deployed reports and mentor key talent in the organization (development of talent).

·Collaborate with VP ECP, VP Oncology Combinations, Project Leaders and deployed functions to build outstanding project leadership within the IMED (development of talent, collaboration & partnership).


·Champion projects, the broader AZ/MedImmune portfolio and disease area science to build external profile and support portfolio development.

· Develop key external networks to access external talent and assets.


As a member of the IMED Oncology Projects group and Early Clinical Projects group

·Support development of a winning disease area strategy, driving portfolio value (sustainable portfolio).

·Share responsibility for the delivery of sufficient successful PoCs, demonstrating therapeutic relevance, with high probability of successful market access and delivery of valuable new medicines (sustainable portfolio).

·Support portfolio delivery by seeking the appropriate tiering for their own projects and supporting higher priority projects led by others when appropriate.

Essential Requirements – Education and Experience


·Advanced degree in life sciences, MD and/or PhD or equivalent

·5 or more years of work experience in discovery and development settings with a significant amount of this experience working within project teams.

·Experience of decision making and leadership in a cross-disciplinary/functional, cross-cultural environment.

·Experience in preclinical science, clinical or drug development.

·Experience in clinical and translational drug development working in complex multi-indication teams.

·Awareness of scientific as well as commercial/payer, regulatory and broader strategic aspects.

·Experience of the oncology disease area.


·Proven leadership skills in delivering projects.

·Proven enterprise leadership skills in working to maximise value of whole portfolio.

Next Steps – Apply today!

To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please complete the full application on our website at your earliest convenience – it is the only way that our Recruiter and Hiring Manager can know that you feel well qualified for this opportunity. If you know someone who would be a great fit, please share this posting with them.

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law. AstraZeneca only employs individuals with the right to work in the country/ies where the role is advertised.

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