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Director, Business Development

Plexium

Plexium

Sales & Business Development
San Diego, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

About Plexium:

Plexium is the premier, next-generation Targeted Protein Degradation (TPD) company focused on the discovery of TPD drugs which overcome limitations of conventional approaches to broaden the therapeutic potential of TPD. Plexium is pursuing monovalent degraders, including a new class of selective TPD drugs called “Direct Degraders.” Direct Degraders are small molecules that are designed to bind to a pathogenic protein in a manner that results in selective degradation of the protein by the cell’s natural protein quality control machinery. In addition to direct degraders, Plexium is pursuing molecular glue degraders. This approach also leverages the cell’s natural quality control machinery, however in this case, small molecules bind to an E3 ligase, redirecting the ligase to selectively target pathogenic proteins for degradation. Plexium is pursuing drug targets that have previously been undruggable or inadequately drugged across multiple disease areas.

The company is powered by its proprietary TPD drug discovery platform, which integrates degrader chemistry design principles and screening libraries with cell-based, target-specific degradation assays, including an ultra-high-throughput screening platform, to enable the identification of drug-like, cell-permeable degrader molecules. This integrated TPD drug discovery approach has led to the discovery of novel, selective direct degraders and molecular glue drug candidates, and two unprecedented E3 ligases.

Pipeline:

Plexium’s lead program is PLX4545, a novel, best-in-class, molecular glue degrader that selectively degrades the undruggable transcription factor IKZF2. IKZF2 is predominantly expressed on a subset of T lymphocytes. IKZF2 acts as an immune regulator by stabilizing immunosuppressive T regulatory cell populations in the tumor stroma. Selective degradation of IKZF2 is expected to improve clinical outcomes and response to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy through immune cell activation. The pharmacology associated with IKZF2 degradation is orthogonal to checkpoint inhibitor therapy driving immune cell activation. PLX4545 is currently in a phase 1 clinical trial, with an anticipated trial completion in 3Q2024.

Plexium is also advancing a direct degrader early development program for a selective degrader of SMARCA2. SMARCA2 and SMARCA4 are essential components of the chromatin remodeling BAF complex, which regulate gene expression and proliferation. Degradation of SMARCA2 in tumor cells with a SMARCA4 loss-of-function (LoF) mutation results in cell death. SMARCA4 LoF mutations occur in five to seven percent of human malignancies. The SMARCA2 program IND submission is targeted for early 2025.

Additionally, Plexium is progressing two lead optimization stage degraders drug discovery program, a highly selective director degrader of CRAF and a highly selective molecular glue degrader of CDK2. The MAP-Kinase pathway is activated in greater than 30% of human cancers, primarily via mutations in KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF. Selective degradation of CRAF protein allows Plexium to therapeutically address the broad pan-RAS mutant tumors, with clear differentiation from the existing RAF inhibitors. CDK2 and cyclin E regulate cell cycle progression. Cyclin E amplification correlates with poor survival in ovarian and ER+, HER2- breast cancer. Selective degradation of CDK2 is expected to improve clinical response in cancer patients with cyclin E amplification.

Position Overview:

We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced Director, Business Development to join our team. The Director will play a critical role in driving our business growth and corporate strategy. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Director will lead initiatives to identify, evaluate, and execute strategic partnerships, collaborations, and corporate transactions to advance our business objectives across Plexium’s pipeline and platform.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Working closely with the executive leadership team, develop and execute the company's business development strategy, including identifying new growth opportunities, evaluating potential partnerships and collaborations, and assessing the competitive landscape
  • Lead the identification, evaluation, and negotiation of strategic partnerships, licensing agreements, and corporate transactions to support the company’s proprietary platform technology and pipeline assets
  • Build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including potential partners, investors, and industry experts, to enhance the company's visibility and reputation in the biotech community
  • Conduct market research and competitive analysis to identify emerging trends, market opportunities, and potential threats to the company's business
  • Provide external perspective on Plexium’s platform, current and future drug discovery programs
  • Cultivate and maintain a current perspective on market trends, including pre-clinical and clinical programs in the broader pharma/biotech community along with strategic positioning of pharma drug discovery pipelines
  • Collaborate cross-functionally with internal teams, including R&D, technology and finance to assess opportunities, develop business cases, and execute strategic initiatives
  • Manage due diligence processes for potential partnerships and transactions, including helping to support financial analysis, risk assessment, and legal review
  • Prepare and present business cases, financial models, and investment proposals to senior management and the board of directors to support decision-making
  • Monitor and track progress against business development goals and objectives, and provide regular updates to senior management and key stakeholders
  • Stay informed about industry trends, regulatory developments, and competitive dynamics in the biotech sector, and apply insights to inform strategic decision-making
  • Partner with internal R&D colleagues to define, develop and present data packages needed to enable partnerships
  • Represent the company at industry conferences, networking events, and investor meetings to promote the company's brand and business development opportunities
  • Generate appropriate activity to achieve annual and long-term corporate goals related to business development and partnering opportunities
  • Actively support alliance management activities for Plexium’s collaboration partners

Qualifications:

The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in a life science, business or a related field; an advanced degree (PhD, MBA, JD) is preferred, and a minimum of 8 years of experience working as a senior contributor or manager in a biotech/pharma business development team or strategic consulting in the biotech or pharmaceutical industry. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of protein degradation biology and oncology. In addition, candidates should have:

  • Strong deal sheet and demonstrated track record of successfully identifying, negotiating, and executing strategic partnerships, collaborations, and corporate transactions
  • Strong understanding of the biotech industry, including small molecule drug discovery and development paradigms, market dynamics, emerging trends, and regulatory requirements
  • Excellent analytical, financial modeling, and valuation skills, with the ability to evaluate complex business opportunities and assess financial implications
  • Exceptional communication, negotiation, and relationship-building skills, with the ability to interact effectively with internal and external stakeholders at all levels
  • Strategic thinker with a results-oriented mindset and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment
  • Demonstrated project leadership and resource management skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a cross-functional team environment, with a high degree of initiative, creativity, and adaptability
  • Strong scientific and business acumen - the ideal candidate will have in-depth medical, scientific, regulatory, and technical knowledge of most functional areas involved in drug discovery, platform and/or clinical drug development
  • Ability to travel up to 40% time

Personal Characteristics:

  • Entrepreneurial and Hands-On: The individual in this position must be comfortable and enjoy “rolling-up-their-sleeves” and operating both strategically and operationally, consistent with the expectations in a small company environment
  • Adaptability: This position requires someone who is comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty and is able to adapt nimbly
  • Accountability and Result Oriented: The qualified individual will have demonstrated ability to drive results, set clear and actionable goals and be tenacious and accountable in driving results
  • Influencer: We are seeking candidates who inspire trust and followership in others through their natural ability to connect and build strong relationships, communicate clearly and persuasively and self-awareness
  • Integrity and Professional Maturity: As both a functional and enterprise leader, the qualified candidate will have a track record and reputation of leading with integrity, respect, and transparency, which also translates to acknowledging their own limitations, being open to feedback and willingness to professionally challenge and be challenged

If you are passionate about driving business growth and making a difference, please submit your CV. We look forward to hearing from you.

The US base salary range for this full-time position is $190,000 - $270,000 + target annual bonus + equity + health and well-being benefits. Our salary ranges are determined by a number of factors, including but not limited to the role, location, job-related skills, and relevant education, experience and training. The range displayed on each job posting reflects the minimum and maximum target for new hire base salaries for the position across all US locations and vary by the location of the position. Our Human Resources Team can share more about our salary ranges and other benefits of working at Plexium, which are not included in the posted base salary range.

Notice to third party recruitment agencies: Plexium does not accept unsolicited resumes from recruiters or employment agencies. In the absence of an executed recruitment services agreement, there will be no obligation to any referral compensation or recruiter fee. In the event a recruiter or agency submits a resume or candidate without an agreement Plexium shall explicitly reserve the right to pursue and hire those candidate(s) without any financial obligation to the recruiter or agency. Any unsolicited resumes, including those submitted to hiring managers, shall be deemed the property of Plexium.