Head of Chemistry


Closing Date: 25/09/2023


The RxCelerate group is an out-sourced drug development platform specializing in the design and delivery of complete drug discovery and development programs and project management for our clients spanning from an idea up to and including Phase II clinical studies.

We are recruiting for a Head of Chemistry to play a significant role in the growth and direction of the business. You will lead a team of talented chemists and bioanalysts, whilst also focusing on growing the chemistry division in terms of revenue and headcount.

This role reports directly to the CEO.



The Head of Chemistry will design and oversee the execution of the medicinal chemistry strategies and plans for all small molecule programs. As the business model for chemistry is semi-virtual, this will involve the identification and management of third-party organisations for synthetic chemistry, in addition to leading the internal team.

Currently, the internal chemistry team at RxCelerate is comprised of 3 medicinal chemists, and is also supplemented by external CROs.  The Head of Chemistry will also manage the bioanalysis team, also currently comprised of 3 scientists and contribute significantly to growing and leading on our GLP and GCP services.  This is an opportunity for a forward thinking and growth minded individual to grow the integrated chemistry offering within RxCelerate.

A key responsibility will be to further develop new opportunities for the RxCelerate Chemistry team. An affinity to be externally facing, participating at conferences and other key events, and be an important ambassador for the company are important facets within this role.

This is an excellent opportunity to lead a team of talented scientists, and to grow the Chemistry division at RxCelerate. This is a full-time role and based primarily at the Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, UK.




  • Lead and co-ordinate RxCelerate’s chemistry activities, based in-house and at CROs, from hit generation through lead optimisation and integration of work packages to development candidate selection.
  • Lead small molecule drug discovery project teams, contributing novel ideas and using judgement and knowledge where appropriate to influence the direction of the project both internally and externally with clients.
  • Lead and coordinate the set-up and execution of medicinal chemistry programs for clients, including:
    • Ensuring that every molecule synthesised on behalf of clients has a value
    • Strategic leadership, chemistry planning, priorities, resourcing, timelines and delivery of high-quality chemical series across multiple small molecule discovery programs
    • Work closely with the RxCelerate Biology (in vitro and preclinical) and In Silico teams to test hypotheses that address key project goals
    • Ensure optimisation of lead series for potency, selectivity, physiochemical properties, in vitro ADME, and PK
    • Contribute to the design and development of new synthetic routes and synthesis of target molecules for process and scale-up

Business Development

  • Continuous awareness of revenue generating opportunities and be a significant ambassador for Chemistry within RxCelerate
  • Maintain and enhance the presence and reputation of RxCelerate at various conferences and networking events, in order to generate new business opportunities for the Chemistry team.

Team Leadership and Management

  • Provide high quality leadership and career development opportunities for the internal Chemistry and Bioanalytical teams
  • Grow the teams, whilst maintaining scientific excellence and team cohesion
  • Select and manage external third-party chemistry suppliers
  • Ensure that all things chemistry are fully compliant with GxP guidelines and regulations
  • Support RxCelerate by maintaining a work environment focused on scientific integrity and fostering learning, open communication and collaboration




  • Significant experience in small molecule drug discovery, gained in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology or a closely related industry
  • High level of creativity and productivity with strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to present the rationale, key data, issues and accomplishments of the chemistry efforts both internally and to clients.
  • Experience in a growing, entrepreneurial biotech or pharmaceutical business
  • A mindset for developing new business opportunities, and experience of attending and presenting at key conferences
  • Demonstrated experience as a drug hunter with a track record of advancing small molecule programs from leads to development candidates and, most importantly, having a demonstrated ability to learn from “failed” programs
  • A depth and breadth of experience across multiple target classes is essential
  • Broad understanding across the wider aspects of drug discovery, particularly around hit finding approaches, structure-based drug design, DMPK, in vivo efficacy studies, toxicology and early CMC activities
  • A team player, with proven experience in developing and managing and leading teams of chemists, both internal and at outsourced providers, to deliver objectives on multiple drug discovery programs
  • Proven track record of innovation and impact on programs documented through inventorship on issued patents and working and integrating within our in-house in-silico team.
  • Experience of operating in a GxP environment with full compliance


  • A depth and breadth of experience across multiple therapeutic areas would be an advantage
  • Experience of different modalities, such as ASO’s, DAC’s and PROTAC’s, would also be an advantage

RxCelerate offers a competitive salary with an annual bonus scheme, company pension and comprehensive company benefit package (life assurance, critical illness and medical insurance).


Please apply using the following link:

Head of Chemistry - RxCelerate (workable.com)