Director, Discovery ADME/PK

About Ikena
Ikena Oncology (NASDAQ: IKNA) is a clinical-stage, targeted oncology company that discovers and develops biomarker-driven therapies for cancer patients who need life-saving treatment, by understanding what drives their disease. Ikena is advancing five clinical, preclinical, and discovery programs and has a global strategic collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. Since inception, Ikena has raised over $300 million from leading life sciences investors and companies that include Atlas Venture, OrbiMed, BMS, Fidelity, Omega Funds, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Invus, Farallon Capital Management, BVF Partners, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Logos Capital, and HealthCor Management. Ikena priced its IPO in March 2021 and trades on the NASDAQ (Ticker: IKNA).

Ikena has an exciting new opportunity for an experienced and motivated person to lead our Discovery ADME/PK efforts from early discovery to development candidate selection as Director, Discovery ADME/PK. Working closely with lead optimization teams, youwill be responsible for designing and analyzing outsourced in-vitro and in-vivo studies that provide insight into the ADME and PK properties of discovery small molecules. You will be a key member of fast-paced small molecule discovery research teams responsible for delivering development candidates. You will utilize your scientific and organizational leadership to advance small molecule drug discovery projects from program initiation to selection of development candidates.


  • You will lead the scientific, technical, and operational aspects of ADME/PK for drug discovery programs
  • Identify critical needs and execute project specific ADME/PK strategies to advance programs from early lead optimization to development candidate selection
  • Contribute to lead optimization efforts by collaborating with medicinal chemists and help devise SAR strategies for ADME related properties
  • Collaborate with pharmacology and project teams in the elucidation and modeling of PK-PD-efficacy relationships
  • Manage outsourcing of ADME, bioanalytical, and PK studies in support of discovery efforts
  • Ensure that ADME/PK properties of development candidates are appropriately characterized to allow rapid progression into IND-enabling studies
  • Perform initial human PK and dose predictions on advanced leads
  • Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate effectively with cross-functional Discovery and Nonclinical teams
  • Additional duties and responsibilities as required


  • You will bring with you a Ph.D. in relevant biomedical research with 10+ years of drug discovery experience in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry
  • Proven ability in ADME/PK to drive drug discovery projects from early lead optimization to development candidate selection
  • Expertise in the assessment of drug adsorption, distribution, metabolism, potential drug-drug interactions, and pharmacokinetics of small molecules
  • Broad background in all aspects of drug discovery and early development, with working knowledge of medicinal chemistry, in vivo pharmacology, and IND-enabling studies
  • Experience in identifying and managing CROs
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills that motivate and inspire others to achieve corporate scientific objectives
  • A passion and sense of urgency for delivering important new therapies to patients is essential

Personal attributes: team oriented, goal-driven, organized, highly collaborative, open-minded, data-driven, creative, persistent in the face of obstacles and uncertainty, flexible, self-aware of strengths and weaknesses, objective in the evaluation of data and strongly optimistic about overcoming challenges.

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