Project Director, Oncology

Pharmacyclics Sunnyvale , CA 94085

Posted 3 months ago

Pharmacyclics is committed to the development and commercialization of novel therapies intended to improve the quality and duration of life and to resolve serious unmet medical needs for cancer patients. Pharmacyclics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company. Oncology is a key therapeutic area for AbbVie, with a portfolio consisting of three marketed products and a pipeline containing multiple promising new molecules that are being studied in more than 200 clinical trials for over 20 different types of cancer.

More than 1,200 Pharmacyclics and AbbVie research scientists, clinicians, marketing, operations and corporate professionals work in the San Francisco Bay Area. They combine their expertise in immuno-oncology, stem cells, and cell-signaling with their knowledge of bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), and covalent-inhibitor technologies to discover and develop novel cancer treatments. Together, we are striving to outsmart cancer.

To learn more about us, please visit us at

Pharmacyclics LLC, an AbbVie company, is building world-class drug discovery teams and programs to drive innovation in oncology. As a Drug Discovery Project Director, you will facilitate the use of predictive analytics and real-world data to create more robust pre-clinical programs and studies. The Project Director will be responsible to lead oncology drug discovery projects from target discovery/validation to clinical candidate selection by strategic planning and execution of studies and interpretation of data. This position is expected to contribute to the overall Discovery portfolio and influence the clinical development of individual programs. The Director will also communicate and present key information/strategy to senior and executive management.

General Position Summary/Purpose:

The ideal candidate should have a deep passion for drug discovery with a track-record of accomplishments in identifying clinical candidates for drug development programs, ideally in oncology indications. As a skilled project leader, this individual should be an efficient manager for drug discovery process and resource, an effective team builder and a productive collaborator who will provide strong scientific and technological leadership to the drug discovery programs. A strong track record on scientific and operational excellence is expected.


  • Provide expertise in science and drug discovery with real time feedback on the impact of drug candidates, pipeline, and timeline for our Discovery projects/portfolio

  • Lead studies on chemistry, biology, pharmacology, DMPK, safety/tox, and biomarkers (pharmacodynamic, predictive, prognostic, companion diagnostic and safety biomarkers) and drive mechanism of action of novel targets

  • Champion the use of novel pre-clinical studies and champion excellent science to identify drug candidates

  • Provide advice to cross-functional project teams using state of the art analytics and real world pre-clinical/clinical data

  • Improve and standardize the pre-clinical drug development process across the portfolio

  • Provide leadership and develop strategic recommendations to pre-clinical drug discovery and development in oncology therapeutic areas, design and execute study and lead cross-functional teams

  • Anticipate and lead issue resolution. Evaluate the impact of discovery and development scenarios on overall timelines and study design. Negotiate with other functional areas on project outcomes and deliverables to meet conflicting demands (time, cost, resource, quality/performance)

  • Actively manage project team behaviors, mediates team disputes, and facilitate establishment of healthy and high performing teams. Identify and develop process improvement initiatives and review recommendations with management for approval and sponsorship

  • Serve as liaison to other departments/divisions based on study/project needs

  • Influence and strategically manage collaborations across businesses and understand the impact of business decisions and solutions


  • PhD/MD/PharmD in Life/Medical Sciences, Chemistry or equivalent with a minimum of 12 years of relevant industrial/academic research and drug discovery/development experience.

  • Deep understanding of all aspects of small molecule drug discovery, including medicinal/process chemistry, biology, biomarker, pharmacology, DMPK, pharmaceutical sciences, safety and toxicology.

  • Experience with scientific project leadership is required.

  • Recognized as an expert with global knowledge of pharma drug discovery/development processes.

  • Recognized as a leader in complex scientific analyses, business-related procedures, and leadership of multiple projects.

  • Demonstrated leadership skills with broad scientific, strategic and business-related orientations.

  • Multi-faceted, broad-based experience in multiple functions and in-depth knowledge of drug development issues and business needs.

  • Experience in strategic planning, project leadership, portfolio, pipeline and budget management in a matrixed organization.

  • Proven leadership in science-driven drug discovery work and track record of identifying drug candidates as evidenced by successful clinical development

  • Self-motivator with strong interpersonal and analytic skills, high ethical standards and excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  • Strong experience in team leadership and lateral influence ability.

  • A desire to be part of a growing and dynamic company aimed at providing the Magic of Normal to cancer patients and their families.

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled

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Project Director, Oncology