Director, 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 growing and  looking for a proactive, collaborative scientist to support the Medicinal Chemistry team to drive our small molecule program forward. 

The Director of Medicinal Chemistry will work within the Orexia Medicinal Chemistry team focusing on design and discovery of novel small-molecule agents to treat CNS disease. In addition, the Director will have outward facing interaction with CROs for medicinal as well as synthetic chemistry. This person must be comfortable working in and contributing to a very dynamic and cross-functional team environment. The ideal candidate must be independent, results oriented, with excellent communication skills and be willing to work in a highly dynamic global and fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.


  • Lead and/or contribute to cross-functional goals within Orexia
  • Work closely with Vice President of Chemistry and CROs to ensure that the medicinal chemistry group employs the highest standards and most advanced methodologies in drug discovery
  • Define, articulate and implement effective medicinal chemistry strategies through compound design
  • Responsible for providing oversight of external CRO partners to ensure high quality scientific results.
  • Responsible for interrogating large datasets and drawing rational conclusions


  • Ph.D. with a minimum 10+ years relevant pharmaceutical/biotech experience in Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Design and Discovery
  • Successful project leadership experience within large/small pharmaceutical environment highly desirable
  • Ability to manage and communicate effectively in a virtual team environment
  • Experience with Structure Based Drug Discovery highly desired
  • Ability to manage and communicate effectively in a virtual team 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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