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Head of Early Chemical Development

Location Macclesfield, England, United Kingdom Gothenburg, Västra Götaland County, Sweden Job ID R-062989 Date posted 10/16/2019

At AstraZeneca we turn ideas into life changing medicines and strive to continuously meet the unmet needs of patients worldwide. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big, and working together to make the impossible a reality. If you are swift to action, confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and curious about what science can do, then you’re our kind of person.

Pharmaceutical Sciences at AstraZeneca deliver the therapies of the future through scientific leadership in drug delivery, design of synthetic routes, and manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API).

We are now looking for a Head of Early Chemical Development to be based in Macclesfield or Gothenburg.

What’s in it for you?This is a key leadership position within Pharmaceutical Sciences and as a member of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Leadership Team, you will have a key role in shaping, building and implementing the future functional strategy for the organization.

You will lead the Early Chemistry Development organisation globally and have sole accountability for all Early Chemical Development activities required to design and develop enabling drug substance, synthetic routes as well as processes and manufacturing of drug substance campaigns from late lead optimization through to proof of concept.

You will be accountable for Drug Substance CMC documentation required to support clinical regulatory submissions, for securing Intellectual Property and freedom to operate. This includes technology transfer to Chemical Development in Pharmaceutical Technology and Development (PT&D), Operations. 

Who are you? We believe that you are an excellent communicator, constantly developing staff and creating an environment that underpins a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. At Pharmaceutical Sciences, you will fit right in if you thrive on leading the work for the department to be recognised for focus on delivery, a great place to work and as a scientific leader both internally and externally.

Essential skills and capabilities for this role include:

  • A track record of successful leadership and chemical development delivery within a matrix organisation, ideally within the therapeutic areas AZ is focusing on. 
  • Ideally, experience of working across a number of pharmaceutical disciplines including those currently not covered by Pharmaceutical Sciences. 
  • Significant change management experience is essential to enable building the functional capability.
  • Ideally experience from working within more than one function and having worked in different companies.
  • Ability to influence across disease and therapy areas enabling effective portfolio development as well as experience and track record in innovation, collaboration and scientific development. 
  • Evidence of strategic thinking and able to interpret complex situations and information to provide strategic clarity and opportunity.
  • Strong project management and leadership skills and experienced at managing multidisciplinary teams.
  • A high level of understanding of current and trending product technologies and being able to relate this to disease and therapy area strategies and the implication for Pharmaceutical Sciences for their effective implementation.
  • Excellent team working and networking skills and ability to engage Therapy Area leaders in Pharmaceutical Sciences continuous improvement initiatives.
  • Ability to think beyond boundaries of own job and company, challenges status quo and seeks opportunities for business improvement.
  • Capable of making effective decisions, acts courageously and communicates with conviction and inspiration at all levels. Demands excellence (sets high bar) and delivers.
  • Able to demonstrate the drive and energy to establish the successful working of the joint role and make a difference to the business.

This is an exciting opportunity for professional growth in areas of drug development, science, and leadership. If you’re inspired by the possibilities of science to make a difference and ready to discover what you can do – join us.

If you have any questions about this role, please contact Anders Holmén, Vice President and Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences at anders.g.holmen@astrazeneca.com or +46708467037

Welcome with your application no later than November 17, 2019.



AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.