Scientist II / Senior Scientist – Synthetic Chemistry

Location: Cambridge, UK
Area: Chemistry

In our labs at Abzena, we work at the cutting edge of drug discovery and make life-changing decisions every day. It is our mission to design and develop drug candidates and realise the vision of our partners in bringing transformational therapies to patients.

We are looking for a Synthetic Chemist who wants to make a difference – we want you to work in our dynamic, ambitious and fast-paced labs and to be challenged in ways that bring the very best out of you. In our supportive environment, you will be an indispensable member of the technical team and integral to your role is working with our partners including world-leading biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions across many therapeutic areas. Our labs are state of the art, the capabilities are diverse and innovative and we are recognised as world experts.

Abzena provides the most complete set of solutions in integrated early discovery to mid-phase biotherapeutic and ADC drug development services in the pharmaceutical industry. Working on a diverse range of drug types from antibodies, fusion proteins and bioconjugates, Abzena supports the development and manufacture of better treatments for patients. As a testimony of its outstanding expertise and quality of its services in bioconjugates early development, Abzena won the best CRO award at the World ADC Awards in 2020.

The Bioconjugation Chemistry Group in Abzena Cambridge (UK) provides synthetic chemistry and conjugation solutions to support partner antibody drug conjugate (ADC), oligonucleotide conjugate, PEGylation and other bioconjugate development programs. Using building blocks and late-stage intermediates for rapid synthesis of linker-payloads and established conjugation chemistries as well as its next-generation conjugation platform ThioBridge® with access to a wide range of cargo’s, we design and produce complex linker-payloads and ADCs evaluated with support from the Design and Developability Groups for lead candidate selection.

Ideally, you will have a BSc or MSc in Organic Chemistry or Medicinal Chemistry or a related science discipline with strong laboratory skills and at least 2 years experience in an industrial environment, or PhD in a relevant discipline. Relevant skills required include an in-depth understanding of organic chemistry and reactions mechanisms, ability to design synthetic routes and proven track record of practical research experience with multi-step synthetic chemistry, ideally applied to the preparation of linker-payloads, purification using automated systems (Gilson and Reveleris flash chromatography and preparative HPLC), and analytical characterisation techniques such as column chromatography (RP-HPLC), LC-MS and NMR. As a confident IT user, you will be familiar with MS Office, and specialist software including Chromeleon, Unify, MassLynx and ChemDraw and Reaxys. You will have an understanding of the ADC field including the drug development process.

You will be able to work both independently and as part of a team, have good planning and organising skills. In addition, you will have a high level of attention to detail and be able to identify and analyse and resolve routine problems. You will demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing, keeping team and management informed. You will contribute to the group development effort undertaking research.

In return, we can offer you a competitive salary and benefits package and a collaborative, varied and challenging environment where you will be encouraged to step outside your comfort zone and develop your career.

Job description

  • To independently design and carry out routine and complex experiments as necessary
  • To perform complex/novel techniques with supervision
  • Perform routine interpretation of analytical results
  • Keep accurate records and document experimental results in electronic lab notebooks
  • To manage own work schedule to ensure tasks are met within the expected timeframe
  • To analyse and interpret own data, and be responsible for the quality of own work
  • Keep line manager and Group Director informed of work progress in a timely fashion
  • To prepare data for and to contribute to the drafting of reports
  • Prepare presentations and present results at internal meetings and client meetings
  • To draft and contribute to Quality and Controlled documents
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Proactive independent attitude with a positive nature
  • A good team player with flexibility and willingness to adapt to change
  • To undertake any other duties relevant to the position and level


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