Associate Director, Corporate Development
Founded at the birthplace of biotechnology, Nkarta's mission is to discover, develop and deliver novel off-the-shelf (e.g. allogeneic) natural killer (NK) cell therapies that profoundly impact patients' outcomes and survival . The company is based on the proprietary, robust and well-characterized NK cell expansion technology pioneered by Dr. Dario Campana. Nkarta is focused on leveraging the inherent power of NK cells to identify and kill abnormal cells and recruit adaptive immune effectors to generate responses that are deep and durable.
Nkarta combines its NK cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies to generate an abundant supply of NK cells, engineer enhanced NK cell recognition of tumor targets, and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body for the treatment of cancer.
Founded in 2015, Nkarta became a public company (Nasdaq symbol NKTX) in 2020. Our development pipeline of engineered NK cell therapy candidates consists of two co-lead programs, NKX101 and NKX019. The IND for NKX101 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory AML and higher-risk MDS was accepted by the FDA in July 2020. We expect to begin dosing patients in this study by the end of 2020. As we broaden the development of NKX101, we also plan to initiate studies in solid tumors. Our second co-lead program, NKX019, is designed to target B cell lymphomas. We plan to file our IND for NKX019 with the FDA in early 2021. In addition, we recently completed the construction of a GMP compliant clinical manufacturing facility in our South San Francisco location designed to produce viral vector and supply our initial clinical trials.
Position Title Associate Director, Corporate Development
Location South San Francisco, CA
Reports to Chief Business Officer
This position plays a key role in multiple areas of strategic importance that has a direct impact on Nkarta's strategy and portfolio. This role encompasses business development and licensing objectives as well commercial and strategic planning. The position interacts closely with senior management and teams across the organization to identify opportunities to further Nkarta's research initiatives and pipeline growth.
• Partners with the Chief Business Officer to evaluate and execute corporate and business development transactions
• Works collaboratively with research, CMC, and clinical teams to proactively scout external opportunities to access new technologies.
• Leads negotiation, structuring and execution of agreements with key external partners.
• Serves as the point of contact with the external partner throughout the deal process.
• Leads financial analysis/modeling of prospective markets, company and asset valuations, and deal comparables for assessing and executing partnership, collaboration, and in-licensing opportunities.
• Conducts competitive landscape assessments, gap analyses, etc. to support strategic and commercial planning.
• In-depth understanding of the drug development process, with a preference for prior cell therapy experience.
• Ability to quickly understand and master new science and technology.
• Strong analytical and financial modeling skills.
• General understanding and direct experience with contracts and legal matters.
• Proven ability to manage multiple projects and tight timelines.
• Successful experience working collaboratively with multiple functions, internal and external, to achieve successful outcomes.
• Outstanding verbal and written communication skills and the ability to synthesize information into actionable conclusions and recommendations.
• Embodies the company culture of empowerment, diversity, and inclusion.
• Able to work well autonomously and also work well in a team-oriented culture.
Education / Background
• PhD in life sciences or MBA strongly preferred
• 5-10 years of successful experience in biotech/pharma business development, management consulting, or investment banking
The common requirements of an office environment (computers, computer screens, workstations, etc.) apply when not working in or around the laboratory environment. Car and airplane travel are a requirement of this role.
The 70+ team members at our South San Francisco, California headquartered location describe working at Nkarta, along with opportunities for improvement, in some of the following ways:
• "Work is interesting - lots of projects in the pipeline (so I don't have to worry about the one project failing). Leadership is open, straight forward."
" "Smart, capable, nice people. People I work with day to day are enjoyable."
• "I like that the company is open minded with a (people) -(looking for) a set of skills that can grow (as opposed to thinking you have to have exactly what's in a job spec now) Things that broaden their (employees) skills and growth."
• "Like any startup there are fires to put out; feel confident we have the people to control those fires."
• "Diverse people from different backgrounds."
To learn more about our work at Nkarta and the career opportunities that will drive us forward to serve patients, please visit the company's website at