Associate Director, Discovery Research
Congruence Therapeutics is a biotechnology company working at the interface of computational and experimental drug discovery to design novel small molecules for diseases of protein misfolding. Using structural bioinformatics, computational chemistry, and machine learning, the Company is deploying an in silico platform that enables the design of new pharmacological stabilizers, a validated class of small molecules, at an unprecedented speed and scale.
Congruence Therapeutics was founded in 2021 by Clarissa Desjardins, Ph.D., previously the founder and chief executive officer of Clementia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CMTA), a company developing therapies for rare pediatric bone diseases and sold to Ipsen in early 2019 for US$1.3 billion. Clementia’s lead product, SohonosTM (palovarotene), was recently approved in Canada and is under review at the FDA as the first and only treatment for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, a debilitating and progressive rare bone disorder.
Dr. Desjardins is putting into place a team of ‘drug hunters’ with domain experience in rare disease strategy and clinical development, biochemistry and cell biology, computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and business development. One such leader is Kenneth Valenzano, Ph.D., who most recently served as Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery for Amicus Therapeutics, a leading company focused on pharmacological chaperones to treat human genetic diseases. Dr. Valenzano participated in the discovery and development of several small molecule chaperones including GalafoldTM (migalastat), the first and only orally available, small molecule treatment for Fabry’s Disease approved in Europe and in the US in 2018.
Congruence is supported by world-class life sciences institutional investors, including a large contingent of Canadian investors such as Amplitude Ventures, FTQ, Lumira Ventures, and Investissement Quebec, as well as US investors such as Orbimed Advisors and others.
About The Role
Congruence is currently seeking an outstanding Biology Project Lead to join our Discovery Research team. The candidate will serve as co-leader on one of our most advanced projects, be responsible for the implementation of the associated biology strategy, and be accountable for the productivity of internal and external teams. In this leadership role, the successful candidate will use a combination of biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular pharmacology, together with Congruence Therapeutics’ proprietary platform technology RevenirTM, to study diseases caused by genetic mutations that lead to misfolding, destabilization, and trafficking defects in targeted proteins. Experience with small molecule screening and/or pharmacological chaperones/stabilizing drugs will be considered as a strong asset. The selected candidate will also help shape the structure/culture of our biology team and contribute to the company’s early history in a collaborative, supportive, and dynamic environment.
- Drive scientific innovation, excellence and rigor to support drug discovery programs at all stages, from early research to IND submission
- Lead human disease understanding of the target/genotype/phenotype relationship and translate understanding into disease-relevant in vitro and ex vivo systems
- Keep abreast of emerging developments in the fields of protein misfolding, stabilization, and small molecule drug discovery in rare diseases
- Drive assay systems to show target and lead compound alignment to research strategy
- Lead and oversee activities related to biochemical and cell-based target engagement, as well as functional, selectivity, and subcellular localization assays to support small molecule discovery and medicinal chemistry efforts
- Ensure that effective scientific guidance/directions and leadership is provided to the team – Proactively bring forward issues as they arise and propose mitigation plans
- Ensure that Biology data are appropriately presented and interpreted and that questions are addressed in a timely manner
- Critically analyze and interpret complex data sets, utilizing appropriate statistical tools
- Define realistic timelines for studies to meet aggressive deadlines within budget
- Manage collaborative relationships with key internal and external stakeholders to properly resource/advance portfolio projects and help teams reach key decision points
- Manage external CROs to ensure high quality deliverables and adherence to planned timelines/budgets
- Generate publications in leading journals and present findings at key meetings, as required
- Lead, manage, develop, and retain a high-performance team, providing development opportunities and mentorship, as necessary
The Ideal Candidate For This Role Will Have
- Ph.D. in a relevant discipline with 5-10 years of drug discovery experience in a pharmaceutical or biotech environment; or MSC with 10-15 years of similar experience
- Strong background in assay development and compound testing/screening for GPCR, ion channel, transporter, and/or enzyme targets
- Experience with luminescence, fluorescence, UV-absorbance, TRF, FP, AlphaScreen readouts using 96- and 384-well plate-based formats
- Experience leading drug discovery project teams in diverse therapeutic areas and molecular target classes to ensure cost-effective and timely support of corporate objectives
- Experience with pharmacological chaperones or stabilizing drugs
- Team player and mentor, listens effectively, and invites response and discussion
- Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills (clear, complete, timely, and consistent) at both detailed and summarized levels
- Demonstrated initiative and innovative thinking both individually and within a multidisciplinary team environment
- Ability to rapidly acquire new skills, as needed
Attributes That Will Make You Successful At Congruence
- Passionate curiosity
- Drug hunter mentality driven by the desire to deliver new medicines to underserved patients
- Excitement for using and creating novel technologies and processes
- Strong team spirit and interpersonal skills, and interest in working with highly talented individuals in a fast-paced, goal-oriented environment
- Strong sense of engagement, ownership, accountability and independence
- A meritocracy that is committed to delivering new medicines to underserved patients
- The opportunity to work innovatively at the interface of the dry lab and wet lab
- The prospect of getting in on the ground floor and making your mark
- Highly competitive base compensation and incentive pay
- Stock options
- Premium benefits including health, dental, and vision
- Flexible policies
- Modern labs in a bio-innovation center environment
Congruence is committed to building an outstanding company with a meritocracy of ideas. We encourage applications from talented individuals of all backgrounds, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and age. Your application is strictly confidential.
Start Date And Contact Information
Start date is immediate at our facilities at the Ad Mare Bioinnovation Center in the Ville St-Laurent Technoparc, 7171 Frederick Banting, St-Laurent, Qc H4S 1Z9 Canada.
Submit your resume and cover letter in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org or through our LinkedIn posting.