Job description

Senior Scientist II, Medicinal Chemistry


Every Exelixis employee is united in an ambitious cause: to launch innovative medicines that give patients, and their families hope for the future. In this pursuit, we know our employees are our most valuable asset. After operating in the challenging biotech sector for 25 years, we have a proven track record of resiliency in the face of adversity. The success of our lead product has provided a solid commercial foundation allowing us to reinvigorate our research efforts and grow our team in areas such as Drug Discovery, Clinical Development and Commercial.

As we expand our global partnerships and further reinvest in R&D to help us discover the next breakthrough for difficult-to-treat cancers, we’re seeking to add talented, dedicated employees to power our mission.

Cancer is our cause. Make it yours, too.

SUMMARY: Seeking a highly skilled and motivated experienced medicinal chemist to join our small molecule drug discovery team. The ideal candidate will be an exceptional chemist who consistently designs and synthesizes novel compounds that drive projects forward while building strong working relationships with colleagues throughout the organization.


  • Independent design, synthesis, and characterization of small molecules that significantly advance projects

  • Presents to project and department team as appropriate.

  • Contributes intellectual insight and applies innovation to significantly advance projects

  • Demonstrates technical and scientific understanding of biology, structural biology, computer aided drug design and DMPK to impact the project.

  • Demonstrates and fosters teamwork beyond department and across project teams

  • Maintains lab notebooks in accordance with company policy and practice

  • Complies with safe laboratory practices and EH&S guidelines

  • Contributes to the writing of technical documents, patents, scientific manuscripts etc.


  • Potential direct and matrix supervisor as team continues to grow.

  • Help direct synthetic resources at CRO partners to complement in-house synthesis



  • PhD in related discipline and a minimum of 2 years of related industrial medicinal chemistry experience; or,

  • Master’s degree in related discipline and a minimum of 7 years of related industrial medicinal chemistry experience; or,

  • Bachelor’s degree in related discipline and a minimum of 9 years of related industrial medicinal chemistry experience; or,

  • Equivalent combination of education and industrial medicinal chemistry experience.


  • State of the art synthetic chemistry skillset and ability to execute at the highest level for synthesis of complex targets.

  • Demonstrated independent thought and creativity in science leading to solution of medicinal chemistry problems

  • Significant experience in target compound design

  • Extensive experience in design and execution of multi-step organic syntheses

  • Experience collaborating with colleagues in biology and in vitro ADME groups

  • Experience and knowledge in all aspects of drug discovery including structure-based drug design and understanding of related disciplines


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Able to impact program efforts and work effectively with CRO partners

  • Ability to work well in a cross-functional team environment

  • Able to partner effectively with other disciplines including computational chemistry, biology, DMPK and toxicology

  • Knowledge of intellectual property matters related to drug discovery

  • Excellent problem solving and SAR analysis skills

  • Able to interpret biological data and ADME data, and design new molecules to overcome problems

  • Skilled in the effective use of scientific literature and chemical/scientific databases

  • Strong synthetic organic bench skills


  • As a subject matter expert, has an in-depth knowledge of synthetic and medicinal chemistry and has a detailed understanding of cross-functional disciplines.

  • Able to execute on challenging synthetic targets and on complex problems where analysis of situations or data requires an evaluation of complex variables.

  • Works effectively in a fast-paced team environment that is growing and evolving, requiring regular prioritization of projects to achieve pipeline deliverables.

  • Exercises independent judgment in developing methods, techniques and evaluation criteria to deliver results.

  • Uses professional concepts to contribute to the development of company concepts and principles to achieve objectives in creative and effective ways.


If you like wild growth and working with happy, enthusiastic over-achievers, you'll enjoy your career with us!

Our compensation reflects the cost of labor across several U.S. geographic markets, and we pay differently based on those defined markets. The base pay range for this position is $119,500 - $176,500 annually. The base pay range may take into account the candidate’s geographic region, which will adjust the pay depending on the specific work location. The base pay offered will take into account the candidate’s geographic region, job-related knowledge, skills, experience and internal equity, among other factors.

In addition to the base salary, as part of our Total Rewards program, Exelixis offers comprehensive employee benefits package, including a 401k plan with generous company contributions, group medical, dental and vision coverage, life and disability insurance, and flexible spending accounts. Employees are also eligible for a discretionary annual bonus program, or if field sales staff, a sales-based incentive plan. Exelixis also offers employees the opportunity to purchase company stock, and receive long-term incentives, 15 accrued vacation days in their first year, 17 paid holidays including a company-wide winter shutdown in December, and up to 10 sick days throughout the calendar year.

The preceding job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to the job.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

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