Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry


The mission of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: CNTA) is to deliver consequential new medicines to patients. The Centessa family includes ten wholly owned, highly specialized companies, with drug discovery and development programs in diverse therapeutic areas. The company’s organizational structure and approach combine the agility and sense of urgency typical of start-up companies with the scale and diversification typical of larger R&D organizations.


Orexia Therapeutics, a Centessa company, is using structure-based drug design to develop oral and intranasal orexin receptor agonists. These agonists target the treatment of narcolepsy type 1 by directly addressing the underlying pathology of orexin neuronal loss.  These agonists may also be more generally useful for the treatment of other neurological disorders characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. We are looking for a proactive, collaborative scientist to support the Medicinal Chemistry team to drive our small molecule program forward. 

As we continue to grow, we are seeking a UK or European-based Principal Scientist to work within the Orexia Medicinal Chemistry team and function as an independent member.  The Principal Scientist will be responsible for route design, trouble shooting synthetic chemistry issues, scale-up activities, as well as providing strategic input.  Additionally, the Principal Scientist will be responsible for the outward facing interactions with CROs on all aspects of Orexia's Medicinal Chemistry Programs.


  • Manage the synthetic chemistry operations from compound design idea through to synthesis and scale-up
  • Work closely with CROs, to ensure clear understanding of Orexia's ideas and how best to go from concept to practice
  • Work with large datasets and draw conclusions as well as analyze QC data of compounds in a timely manner
  • Responsible for working closely with CRO resources troubleshooting technical issues and problem solving as need arises
  • Ensure effective use of CRO resource through appropriate work planning


  • MS in Synthetic Organic Chemistry with 10+ years of pharmaceutical or biotech experience or Ph.D. with 7+ years past post-doc experience in a pharmaceutical or biotech environment
  • Ability to manage CROs, analyze, interpret, and present data in clear manner (orally and in writing)
  • Experience with compound design through scale-up
  • Proven ability to think critically and creatively and be able to work independently, determine appropriate resources for resolution of problems and have strong organizational and planning skills while working in a virtual environment

POSITION: Full-Time, Exempt

EEOC Statement: Centessa Pharmaceuticals believes in a diverse environment and is committed to equal employment opportunity for all its employees and qualified applicants. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status. Centessa Pharmaceuticals will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.

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