Vice President, Genome Engineering (Vector Genome)
Voyager Therapeutics (Nasdaq: VYGR) is a biotechnology company dedicated to breaking through barriers in gene therapy and neurology. The potential of both disciplines has been constrained by delivery challenges; Voyager is leveraging innovative expertise in capsid discovery and deep neuropharmacology capabilities to address these constraints. Voyager’s TRACER AAV capsid discovery platform has generated novel capsids with high target delivery and blood-brain barrier penetration at low doses, potentially addressing the narrow therapeutic window associated with conventional gene therapy delivery vectors. This platform is fueling alliances with Pfizer Inc., Novartis and Neurocrine Biosciences as well as multiple programs in Voyager’s own pipeline. Voyager’s pipeline includes preclinical programs in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), each with validated targets and biomarkers to enable a path to rapid potential proof-of-biology. For more information, visit www.voyagertherapeutics.com.
The Head of Vector Engineering will report to the Chief Scientific Officer, and will create, articulate, and lead an ambitious scientific vision and strategy for internal AAV gene therapy vector genome research and external innovation at Voyager. She/he/they will be empowered to develop and implement the strategic agenda and road map for the next generation of gene therapy platforms and programs, working in close collaboration with the Chief Scientific Officer and the VP of Novel Capsid Discovery. Partnering with the Chief Business Officer and Chief Executive Officer, they will have a key role in identifying and accessing external innovation and developing strategic industry and academic collaborations that will enhance Voyager’s leadership in CNS gene therapy
- Establish and lead the strategic gene therapy AAV vector engineering roadmap and provide exemplary scientific leadership for the company’s AAV research programs to support the overall corporate strategy.
- Recruit, motivate, and develop a world-class, highly innovative gene therapy engineering organization; drive a culture that promotes creativity, open communication, and collegiality; ensure projects are run cost-effectively with a sense of patient-centricity and urgency that is recognized by all.
- Manage transgene-related activities in discovery research, drive innovation in payload/cargo design, and will seek to build inter-department synergy using excellence in communication.
- Support the continued protection, creation, and expansion of the company’s intellectual property.
- Participate in the process of selecting, prioritizing, and accelerating the development of assets.
- Leverage technical opportunities and talent for business advantage and innovation initiatives.
- Play a major role in the company in the area of business development by recommending key initiatives, plans, collaborations, and potential partnerships that will produce outstanding products and financial results.
- Present to the company’s Board of Directors and/or Scientific Advisory Board as well as to external stakeholders and the investment community.
- Ultimately responsible for interrogation of candidate sequences, and reduction-to-practice of sequences intended for clinical application, for numerous gene therapy initiatives.
- Working with Research, responsible for establishment and testing of constructs in appropriate model systems, including in vitro and/or in vivo screens.
- Responsible for ensuring data integrity throughout the vector design team, including plasmid nomenclature and archiving.
- Key point of contact with cross-functional stakeholders to ensure suitability and timely manufacture of candidate gene therapy cassettes for downstream applications.
- Oversight and implementation of high-throughput gene synthesis and expression screening strategies.
- Strong interpersonal skills which acknowledge the team nature of shared success, and a communication style conducive to successful coordination to meet shared timelines.
- A Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D. in a scientific discipline required
- The ideal candidate will be an established scientific leader in the field of gene therapy and have had senior-level scientific/technical responsibility with substantial experience in the successful discovery and/or development of AAV gene therapies, with deep experience in creative and novel AAV vector payload engineering.
- Must be highly motivated, and will derive motivation from working in a small, entrepreneurial biotech environment, accepting the challenge of broad responsibilities and opportunities within a fast-paced, matrix-focused can-do culture. A hands-on operational approach and ability to deliver on corporate goals integrating internal and external resources will be critical for success in this role.
- Must have Intellectual and scientific curiosity and integrity; must be scientifically rigorous and creative; committed to patient-centricity, transparency, and ethical research values.
- Excellence in drug discovery/translational skills demonstrated by experience with payload design/expression control and a successful track record of advancing therapeutically oriented AAV gene therapies.
- Enthusiasm for operating effectively within an entrepreneurial and science-driven company environment.
- Can-do team-oriented attitude which is consistent with Voyager core values.
- Track record of driving innovative ways of thinking and/or innovative ways of using data.
- Sophisticated scientific management skills and business judgment with an ability to evaluate alternatives, establish priorities, and apply resources effectively.