Senior Director Immuno-Bone Discovery

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Date: Jul 12, 2019

Location: Slough, Berkshire, GB

At UCB everything we do starts with a simple question: “How will this make a difference to the lives of people living with severe diseases?” We do that by connecting with patients and their families around the world living with the physical and social burdens of severe disease of the immune system and the central nervous system. Those connections offer new perspectives, drive innovation, and offer the hope of a new generation of therapies that will help to transform lives.


Role Overview

The Head of Immuno-Bone Discovery role is a senior leadership role in the Immuno-Bone Therapeutic Area in New Medicines. The mission of the IBTA is to discover and develop first-in-class and/or best-in-disease therapeutics that address key unmet needs of specific patients suffering from inflammatory and musculoskeletal diseases, based on novel understanding of the pathobiology of these conditions.


Within the IBTA, the Head of Immuno-Bone Discovery assumes responsibility for in vitro pharmacology activities supporting NCE and NBE from hitID up to candidate selection, in close collaborations with the Head of the Immunology Research and the Head of Tissue Remodeling Research. She/he will also be the primary contact point between the IBTA and Discovery Sciences.


She/he will be member of the IBTA Leadership Team and as such have an active and significant contribution to and accountability for the overall IBTA, New Medicines, and corporate objectives.


As a global leader, she/he should also contribute to evolve and implement the UCB Patient Value Strategy, to champion its principles, and to role-model its values and behaviors.


The position is Slough-UK based and reports to the Head of the Immuno-Bone Therapeutic Area.


Primary Responsibilities


  • Leading a high performing team responsible for assay development (cellular, biochemical and biophysical assays) to successfully progress drug discovery projects (NCE and NBE).
  • Driving scientific excellence and technology evaluations to maximize impact on the preclinical portfolio.
  • Ensure innovative screening approaches and streamlined screening cascades are in place addressing complex biology and providing high data quality for internal and partnered drug discovery programs.
  • Accountability for achieving project milestones and delivering on annual performance objectives.
  • Manage resources and budget for his/her part of the organization.
  • Mentor, coach, and develop talent in his/her part of the organization.
  • Actively participate to all IBTA Leadership team activities and accountabilities, driving the strategic direction of the Immuno-Bone preclinical pipeline and portfolio management.
  • Actively contribute to New Medicines strategic and governance activities (portfolio reviews, scientific advisory boards, …).
  • Champion UCBs Patient Value Strategy.


Essential Requirements


  • Considerable experience in industry or academia in the field of connective tissue research/medicine, with experience in a leadership position.
  • PhD in pharmacology, biology or biochemistry with 10+ years experience in a drug discovery in pharma or biotech.
  • Track record in leading drug discovery projects and managing external collaborations (academic or CRO).
  • Thorough understanding of receptor theory and enzyme pharmacology to influence project progression through data-driven pharmacological insights.
  • Substantial experience developing and validating biochemical, biophysical and cellular assays during hit ID phase and how to drive SAR.
  • History of working with a broad range of target classes, including enzymes and PPIs.
  • Experience in HTS and fragment-based drug discovery programs.
  • A strong academic and industry network in the in vitro pharmacology field.
  • Proven leadership skills in terms of vision/strategy, innovation, management, and coaching/mentoring.
  • Disciplined team-player, driving healthy scientific debate but willing to ‘disagree and commit’.
  • Results-driven.
  • Independent mind, able and willing to take decisions in equivocal situations.
  • Willingness to grow and develop in an open-feedback environment.


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