Associate Director/Director, Search and Evaluation

Business Development (170) · Seattle, Washington
Department Business Development (170)
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor


Chinook Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision medicines for kidney diseases. Chinook’s product candidates are being investigated in rare, severe chronic kidney disorders with opportunities for well-defined clinical pathways. Chinook’s lead program is atrasentan, a phase 3 endothelin receptor antagonist for the treatment of IgA nephropathy and other proteinuric glomerular diseases. BION-1301, an anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody is being evaluated in a phase 1b trial for IgA nephropathy. In addition, Chinook is advancing CHK-336, an oral small molecule LDHA inhibitor for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria, as well as research programs for other rare, severe chronic kidney diseases.


Chinook is building its pipeline by leveraging insights in kidney single cell RNA sequencing, human-derived organoids, and new translational models, to discover and develop therapeutics with differentiating mechanisms of action against key kidney disease pathways. Chinook trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol KDNY and has locations in Vancouver, BC, Seattle, WA and Oakland, CA.


Chinook is seeking a Director, External Innovation (Search & Evaluation) to serve as a key member of our small but mighty Business Development team.  The role will focus on the identification and evaluation of innovative research and products that have the potential to complement Chinook’s existing portfolio and continue to grow our industry-leading kidney disease pipeline.  Through outreach with industry, academics, research innovation centers, and companies, the successful candidate will identify, evaluate, and support the in-licensing of external therapeutic product and drug discovery platform opportunities to augment Chinook’s internal product pipeline. The scope of responsibilities will also include negotiations of potential Business Development opportunities with deal structures that may span from in-licensing of clinical or preclinical stage assets, to research collaborations, platforms and academic SRAs that are consistent with the advancement of Chinook’s strategy.  This is a very attractive opportunity for an experienced biotech or pharmaceutical industry professional who enjoys a high-energy, entrepreneurial environment, and is looking to transition to S&E/BD from other roles.


This position may be remote with travel up to 25%, but location near any of our West Coast hubs (Vancouver, Seattle, Oakland) is preferred.

Responsibilities include:

  • Identify and prioritize external therapeutic and discovery platform opportunities that support Chinook’s R&D strategy and nurture scientific and business relationships
  • Establish and maintain a broad network of relationships with potential collaborators and licensors
  • Follow up on partnership activity, including the tracking, documentation and status reporting of all collaborations along the business development pipeline
  • Develop and maintain landscape map of the kidney drug development field through a strong understanding of disease biology, treatment paradigms, and emerging therapies in renal diseases of interest
  • Work with business, research, and clinical teams to triage most compelling opportunities for further internal review based on quality of the science, commercial opportunity and the fit with internal strategy
  • Present diligence summaries and deal proposals evaluating key risks, clinical and regulatory pathways, manufacturing, and commercialization of product opportunities, to senior management to support strategic decision making
  • Monitor overall market dynamics and competitive intelligence in target indications
  • Represent Chinook at scientific conferences and partnering events
  • Be an effective ambassador to ensure Chinook is perceived as the “Partner of Choice” in kidney diseases with external organizations

Education, Experience, and Skills:

  • Advanced degree in life sciences (Ph.D., M.D., or a Master’s degree with relevant professional experience) and/or MBA preferred
  • 5-10+ years experience in life science companies (Pharma and/or Biotech) supporting Business Development objectives; will consider experiences in search and evaluation, strategic consulting, technology transfer, competitive intelligence, program management, medical field sales.  Pharm/biotech equity analysis, management consulting, venture capital, or investment banking considered as well.
  • Intellectually curious and a willingness to engage externally to develop a deep understanding of scientific and clinical data.
  • A passion for staying abreast of the latest advancements in the industry
  • An existing network in the life science and nephrology community preferred
  • Demonstrated scientific knowledge and professional communications demeanor to drive meaningful discussions externally with Pharma/Biotech executives and key opinion leaders
  • Highly developed verbal and written communication skills
  • Social, energetic, self-motivated individual with strong analytical research skills and a solid business acumen
  • A nose for discovering early and novel opportunities and looking beyond the obvious
  • Highly-organized with excellent follow-up abilities and able to prioritize projects
  • Progressive knowledge of innovative alliance structures, industry trends and competitive issues related to pharmaceutical business development
  • Expected travel up to 25%

Chinook is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we prohibit discrimination or harassment of any kind.  We are committed to fostering an environment where ALL people are welcome and supported.  We respect and value different experiences and viewpoints.  We act respectfully toward one another and embrace diversity of people and ideas. Having a diverse workforce made up of team members who bring a wide variety of skills, abilities, experiences, and perspectives is essential to our success. Creativity and innovation flourish in an environment of openness, inclusion, and mutual respect.

Thank You

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  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Department
    Business Development (170)
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience