Job Vacancy: Biopharmaceutical Formulation Leader

Job Vacancy: Biopharmaceutical Formulation Leader



Position Profile

The role is initially for 18 months within the formulation activity of the programme “R3 – RNA Readiness and Response”, which is funded jointly by Wellcome Leap and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The R3 program has two goals: one, to increase exponentially the number of biologic products that can be designed, developed, and produced every year, reducing their costs and increasing equitable access; and two, to create a self-sustaining network of manufacturing facilities providing globally distributed, state-of-the-art surge capacity to meet future pandemic needs.

Aqdot is part of the “Biofoundry in a box” project team, which received the largest single grant ($15.8M). Aqdot’s role is to apply supramolecular chemistry to enable effective, safe, low-cost and stable formulations co-designed to work with the small-scale, high-output, continuous-flow based units to be designed for localised manufacture, globally.

This Biopharmaceutical Formulation Leader role will involve leading the project activities in Aqdot’s Cambridge laboratory. The Leader will collaborate with Cameron Alexander, Professor of Polymer Therapeutics in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham, where a second Aqdot, R3-funded, PDRA will be located. Other R3 project partners include researchers at Imperial College and Kings College London who will produce different RNA types for different applications (vaccines, anti-cancer) for different delivery mechanisms (intra-muscular, nasal or intra-ocular). The formulations are to be formed by continuous-flow processes, with engineering and design led by Kings College London and Centillion Ltd.

The role will require visits to project partner locations for meetings and experiments. In addition to Aqdot’s apparatus (zeta potential, DLS, LC, UV-vis and organic synthesis), Nottingham has additional characterisation capability (e.g. AFM, CAT-SEM), and there is potential to be involved with biological assays at King’s College London and Imperial College London.

About Aqdot

Aqdot is a chemtech company based in Cambridge, UK. Its core platform technology – exploiting the properties of cucurbiturils (CBs) as supramolecular hosts – has applications ranging from Home Care to Life Sciences. The Biopharmaceutical Formulation Leader’s role will be to provide scientific leadership and administrative support for Aqdot’s involvement in the R3 project.

The Aqdot team has a strong inclusive and proactive culture. The company has undergone transformation from internal invention (generating a large suite of patents) to commercialisation and collaboration, with partners to create new products that add value to consumers and the supply chain. Aqdot has just completed an over-subscribed funding round with two major multinational specialty chemical companies as strategic investors (Ingevity and Clariant). Additionally, Aqdot has been a recipient of grant funding to enable it to develop technologies, ranging from manufacturing process improvement and scale-up to benign but effective anti-viral technologies, including against SARS-CoV-2.

Aqdot is an agile organisation with an outstanding can-do ethic. The Aqdot team is diverse and welcoming. We are guided by values that were agreed “bottom-up”: teamwork, fearless leadership, integrity, performance focus, and safety/responsibility.

The Role – Biopharmaceutical Formulation Leader

LOCATION: Cambridge, UK
REPORTING LINE: Leadership Team Member
START DATE: As soon as possible
DURATION / CONTRACT: 18 months initially.

Reporting to the Strategy and Innovation Director, the Biopharmaceutical Formulation Leader will have the following responsibilities

• Lead activities of the supramolecular RNA-delivery system formulation in Aqdot.
• Proactively participate in the evaluation of polymer/CB–RNA complexes
• Proactively grow the collaborations within the R3 project to assist in developing Aqdot products from concept to scale-up. Focus on areas of formulation and claims substantiation.
• Collaborate effectively with University of Nottingham to optimise the activities of the Aqdot PDRA with Professor Cameron Alexander.
• Preparation of research reports by collecting, analysing, and summarising data; give presentations for both internal and external audience.
• Preparation of technical, financial and other reports as required by the R3 project.
• Contribute to regulatory activities required for the safe use of Aqdot technology.
• Maintain awareness of IP opportunities for Aqdot technology and prepare patent documents.

Contribute to other Aqdot bioscience-related activities, e.g. safe anti-allergen and anti-viral products, development of supramolecular hydrogels.


• PhD thesis awarded, ideally with further experience in a relevant biopharmaceutical area.
• Strong analytical skills including the ability to analyse and interpret data; interpret reports; evaluate and criticise prior data; and ability to bring new insights.
• Experience of developing and characterising pharmaceutical formulations.
• Interest in the chemistry-biology interface.
• Motivated by transforming great science into societal benefits.
• Effective communicator at all levels in an organisation.
• Able to enthuse and inspire colleagues and collaborators to meet the goals of critical projects in timely fashion.
• Competent in meeting administrative requirements necessary for grant participants.

• Generates alignment amongst teams.
• Contributes to a high performing, fearless, results-orientated culture.
• Hands-on and entrepreneurial in style, comfortable with getting involved in all areas of the project.

Likely background and personal characteristics
• Intellectually strong and comfortable with complex problem solving.
• Naturally engages with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
• Embraces opportunities for personal development.


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