Associate Director Target Biology Neuroscience, Translational Medicine

SoseiHeptares Cambridge United Kingdom Biotech
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Company Description

Sosei Heptares (the corporate brand of Sosei Group Corporation) is a research-focused biotechnology group, publicly listed in Japan (TSE: 4565) and with sites in Cambridge, Tokyo, and London (UK).

Our mission is to make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life and health of people around the world. To achieve this, we will discover, design, and develop the most innovative and effective medicines for patients worldwide, through our world-leading patent-protected technology and platform.

Our primary focus is the discovery and early development of new medicines originating from our proprietary G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-targeted StaR® technology and Structure-Based Drug Design (SBDD) platform capabilities. We are advancing a broad and deep pipeline of novel medicines across multiple therapeutic areas, including immuno-oncology, immunology, gastroenterology, inflammation, CNS, and other rare/specialty indications.

We have established partnerships with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Biohaven, Genentech (Roche), GSK, Novartis, Pfizer, and Takeda and additionally with multiple emerging technology companies. Sosei Heptares is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with corporate and R&D facilities in Cambridge, UK.

Sosei Heptares has approximately 175 employees based at its new R&D research facility at Granta Park. The size of the company ensures a transparent linkage between all activities from early discovery through translational medicine and into clinical development.


Do you feel passionate about the possibilities to make a meaningful difference to patients’ lives? Are you driven by scientific challenges? If you are an exceptional scientist who is seeking drug discovery opportunities in the Neuroscience therapeutic area, this role may be for you.

At Sosei Heptares we believe in targeting GPCRs to deliver transformative medicines for patients. To do this our world class scientists have developed a proprietary structure-based drug design (SBDD) platform to improve the design of safer & more effective GPCR drugs. Our approach has been validated with multiple programs progressing from structure to the clinic.

This is an exciting time to join our company as we enter the next phase of growth. We have recently developed a new Translational Medicine function to accelerate and deliver programs into early clinical development to POM/POC, underpinned by a strong understanding of the biological mechanism of action. This position reflects our commitment to secure world class translational medicine capabilities to support one of our core therapeutic areas in Neuroscience.

Come and join us in our R&D team in Cambridge UK and realise the opportunity to put your outstanding scientific experience into practice to deliver transformative GPCR medicines to patients.


We are seeking an individual passionate about advancing novel therapies and biomarker strategies for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. This highly motivated individual will serve as the in vivo pharmacology lead on neuroscience discovery projects and work cross-functionally to develop and implement preclinical study plans and strategies. They will also function as an expert for translational biomarkers and will support efforts to develop translational biomarker strategies for CNS programs.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • PhD or a BSc with a minimum of 5 years drug discovery or development experience in an Neuroscience-related therapeutic area. Equivalent experience gained in an academic background may also be considered.
  • Good understanding of Home Office legislation governing in vivo research and direct experience in the experimental design and oversight of in vivo studies.
  • Hands-on experience in managing outsourced studies with CROs or academic partners
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a multidisciplinary matrix team environment; Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research
  • Proven ability in data analysis and problem-solving

Areas of expertise would include at least one of the following approaches:

  • In vivo, ex vivo and human cellular models for characterisation of disease modifying and/or symptomatic therapies for neurodegenerative, neuro-inflammatory and psychiatric diseases
  • Detailed characterisation of CNS targets that modulate synaptic health through mechanisms such as protein homeostasis/clearance, inflammation and/or reduction/elimination of toxic protein production
  • Application of neuronal iPSC human and rodent cell models and phenotypic screening approaches for identification and validation of CNS drug targets

In addition, the individual would have expert hands-on knowledge in at least one of the following areas associated with translational CNS biomarkers

  • Application of CNS ‘omics technologies to select the right target for the right patient for the right indication
  • Emerging technologies (RNA, DNA targeting, gene regulation and editing)
  • Experience in assay development/validation and knowledge of various neuroscience biomarker assay platforms (e.g. ELISAs, MSD, SIMOA, IHC)
  • Translational tools and technologies such as neuroimaging and fluid biomarkers to track neurodegenerative and/or neuropsychiatric disorders disease


This is an exciting opportunity to work across diverse functional groups within Sosei Heptares and with external industrial and academic collaborators. Working within research-phase and development-phase project teams, your primary responsibility will be to shape and deliver translational Neuroscience research plans.You will:

  • Work collaboratively with internal Sosei Heptares colleagues and external (academic and industrial) collaborators to support Neuroscience programs
  • Lead and oversee the development and optimisation of assays at CROs. Be responsible for leading the design, delivery, analysis, and reporting of outsourced assays.
  • Develop robust TE biomarkers strategy to support clinical-stage programmes

Other information

What’s in it for you?

  • State-of-the-art R&D centre located in the heart of the Cambridge science cluster
  • Competitive compensation package including discretionary cash bonuses
  • Eligible for grants of Restricted Stock Units in Sosei Group Corporation
  • 25 days annual leave in addition to public holidays
  • Employer contribution to pension
  • Private Medical Insurance and a cash plan for dental and optical reimbursement
  • Health and wellbeing benefits including a subsidised individual gym membership
  • Income protection to cover long term absences due to ill health
  • Group Death in Service equal to 4x basic annual salary

Why Sosei Heptares?

At Sosei Heptares, we are dedicated to the pursuit of scientific innovation. Our mission is to make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life and health of people around the world. To achieve this, we will discover, design, and develop the most innovative and effective medicines for patients worldwide, through our world-leading patent-protected technology and platform

Working at Sosei Heptares

The Sosei Heptares R&D centre is a modern, state-of-the-art centre located within easy shuttle reach of Cambridge and Whittlesford Parkway train stations. We offer a collaborative, diverse and inclusive working environment that considers your individual needs and believes in maintaining a sustainable work-life balance. You will be welcomed by a team of colleagues with decades of accumulated experience in their areas of expertise, happy to help you develop your own skills in a highly collaborative environment and who are keen to provide guidance and support in your personal and career development plans.

Our Vision and Values

To become one of Japan’s science and technology-led biopharmaceutical drug discovery champions. To achieve this, we will leverage our global know-how and operating agility to deliver a sustainable pipeline of first or best-in-class therapeutics, ensuring our place amongst the next generation of leading innovators.

We are guided by three fundamental values.

  • Limitless Compassion
  • Unswerving passion
  • Continuous self-innovation

These unchanging set of core values that serves as a guide across all our activities.

Join Us!

Other information

The successful candidate will be employed by Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, a UK wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation.

Sosei Heptares is committed to building a diverse and ambitious workforce, and to promoting equal opportunities in employment. We recognize that diverse and inclusive teams build a stronger and more innovative company. Therefore, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment: we do not discriminate based on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or any other classification prescribed by law.

Applications should include a covering letter, providing a short description of the background to their interest in the role, with curriculum vitae. Please apply through our on-line jobs’ portal with your application in pdf format, quoting reference number 2022-AD-TB-CNS. The closing date for applications is 9th December 2022.

Sosei Heptares does not accept speculative or unsolicited CVs from agencies. All speculative or unsolicited CVs submitted without an agreement in place will be considered Sosei Heptares' property and will not obligate us to pay a referral fee.

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