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Scientist, Formulation

Formulation | South San Francisco, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Scientist, Formulation 


Plexxikon, a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group, is a leader in the discovery and development of novel, small molecule pharmaceuticals. The company utilizes its proprietary discovery platform to successfully develop a portfolio of competitively differentiated clinical and preclinical stage compounds in a number of therapeutic areas. Plexxikon’s first marketed drug, Zelboraf™ (vemurafenib) was the first precision medicine to be approved for the treatment of BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma.  Plexxikon's demonstrated capability in discovery and early development uniquely positions the company to develop multiple commercial franchises for different therapeutic indications, and to create significant value for Plexxikon, Daiichi Sankyo and its collaborators.  Plexxikon's novel discovery approach, combined with experienced management and scientific teams, a broad network of scientific and clinical experts, and partnerships supporting later stage development, have been key drivers of the company's success since it began operations in 2001.  Plexxikon is a small business with approximately 70 employees based in South San Francisco, California.


We are seeking a Scientist, Nonclinical Formulation for our Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetic (DMPK) department. This is an exceptional opportunity to work with a core discovery group within a successful biopharmaceutical company that bring drugs from ideas to the clinic.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop and implement formulation strategy to support preclinical development of novel drug candidates, adhere to pre-specified timelines, budget, and performance standards
  • Design and conduct pre-formulation assessment studies, including characterization of the physicochemical and biopharmaceutical properties of various novel drug candidates
  • Develop, prepare, evaluate, and characterize formulated test articles and drug products for efficacy, PK, toxicology, and clinical studies
  • Support development of analytical methods required to characterize drug candidates and drug product formulations including stability studies
  • Provide guidance and expertise on preformulation and drug delivery options to support the development programs and cross-functional teams
  • Maintain and manage formulation and analytical equipment in the Pharmaceutics laboratory
  • Analyze and organize data using scientific software, present research findings and project status at internal and external meetings, prepare reports for regulatory filings
  • Maintain familiarity with current scientific literature relevant to the pharmaceutical research and contribute to clinical formulation development (Drug Delivery, BCS, and QbD)
  • Maintain laboratory notebook in a complete, consistent, and concise manner in accordance with Plexxikon intellectual property policies and practices
  • Adhere to good health and safety practices and comply with applicable EH&S safety rules, and participate in mandatory safety training programs
  • Maintain close collaborations with fellow researchers across disciplines in a close-knit team environment
  • Keep up to date on relevant scientific literature, identify emerging trends for development of poorly-soluble compounds, and leverage the insights gained to progress projects 
  • Hands-on work in the pharmaceutics lab
  • Other duties as assigned

Position Requirements & Experience:

  • Doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemistry, or related field with at least two years of relevant research experience in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry
  • A track record of accomplishments (including scholarly publications) demonstrating technical proficiency, independent thinking and scientific creativity
  • Demonstrated technical proficiency, scientific creativity, problem solving ability, and capable of independently planning and executing experiments while proactively seeking out senior personnel to discuss potential solutions to problems 
  • Experience in pharmaceutical development, formulation and/or analytical development
  • Hands-on experience with Dissolution, DSC/TGA, GC, HPLC, and pXRD and other standard laboratory equipment
  • Demonstrated expertise and proficiency in formulation development, in depth knowledge of pre-clinical and solid oral formulation development
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills are essential in this collaborative work environment 
  • Highly motivated and able to work in a fast-paced environment with a desire to learn and tackle new challenges 
  • Candidates must be authorized to work in the U.S.

Plexxikon is located in South San Francisco, near U.S. Highway 101 and Oyster Point Boulevard.  We offer a chance to work with talented people in a collaborative environment and provide top-notch benefits including health insurance, generous time off and much more.  As an equal opportunity employer, Plexxikon is committed to a diverse workforce. Employment decisions regarding recruitment and selection will be made without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, genetic information or characteristic, gender identity and expression, veteran status, or other non-job related characteristics or other prohibited grounds specified in applicable federal, state and local laws. In order to ensure reasonable accommodation for individuals protected by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Act of 1974, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, applicants who require accommodation in the job application process may contact the careers email at for assistance.  For more information about equal employment opportunity protections, please view the ‘EEO is the Law’ poster.


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