Early Development Program Lead, Director/Senior Director

About Ikena
Ikena Oncology is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that discovers and develops patient-directed, 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. Ikena has entered into a global strategic collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb and raised capital from top tier investors OrbiMed Advisors and Atlas Venture.

Role Description
Ikena Oncology is seeking a highly talented, diversely experienced, and self-motivated early development program lead to join an innovative, scientifically driven and fast paced team committed to developing breakthrough cancer therapies. This individual will be accountable for leading multiple cross-functional early development teams and driving programs from Development Candidate (DC) to Phase I/II Proof of Concept (POC). The Early Development Program Lead will be a champion and a decision maker for his/her programs, working closely with program management, clinical, translational research, toxicology, CMC, regulatory and clinical operations to build and execute an integrated development plan for the successful delivery of development milestones. This position is a high impact and highly visible role. He/she will be able to clearly articulate the scientific rationale and clinical development plan and represent the team to internal and external stakeholders.


  • Report to SVP, Translational Research and Early Development
  • Responsible for the success of a program from DC to POC
  • Provide overall strategic leadership and set goals/directions for the program
  • Work closely with the Program Manager to plan and manage the program timelines, budget
    and resource allocations
  • Lead the cross-functional team to drive program deliverables and meet program milestones
  • Set expectations and ensure execution of key functional deliverables by leveraging program
    team members and outside consultants/CROs
  • Identify and anticipate challenges, develop risk management and mitigation planning
  • Drive effective resolution of program issues and communicate with executive leadership
    regarding proposed solutions
  • Represent the program team at the internal and external stakeholder meetings


  • Advanced degree in a scientific discipline (PhD, PharmD, or equivalent)
  • Minimum of 10+ years of biotech or pharma experience in drug discovery and clinical
  • Proven track record of leading successful R&D programs
  • Adept at leading cross-functional development teams that include line function experts in clinical, translational research, toxicology, DMPK, CMC, regulatory, clinical operations, and program management
  • Proven ability to use highly effective influencing skills in a matrix setting to help teams achieve program milestones
  • Knowledge of preclinical and clinical oncology drug development is a must
  • Clinical experience in managing Phase 1/2 studies is desirable
  • Strong understanding of scientific concepts and experience in translational research and
    biomarker development
  • Expert strategic capabilities
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

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 obstacles.

Application Form

Our supportive work environment fosters creative thinking and freedom of expression.