RETAINED SEARCH: VP, Clinical Operations – Oncology | Newly Created Role | Cutting-Edge & Rapidly Growing Biotech

Cornerstone Search Group
October 27, 2017
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VP, Clinical Operations - Oncology | Newly Created Role | Cutting-Edge & Rapidly Growing Biotech | Philadelphia area | RETAINED SEARCH

Summary:  This is a uniquely attractive opportunity with an exciting and rapidly expanding biotech company that focuses on developing novel first-in-class oncology therapeutics. Leveraged by its own unique proprietary technology and breakthrough science, this company is on the forefront of an innovative new approach to cancer treatment. Our client is a company that offers the “best of both worlds,” i.e. working for a well-financed company that maintains a refreshingly agile/nimble/entrepreneurial fast-paced “start-up” culture that fosters a collegial environment and where decisions are made quickly.

This is a very exciting time within the organization, as they are growing quickly across a number of departments, including Clinical Operations. In this brand newly-created VP role, you will report into the CMO and be responsible for people management, cross-functional management, executive-level collaboration, strategy, vendor relationships, compliance, budgets/resources, etc.  As opposed to being a small fish in a big pond in Big Pharma, you will play an active and impactful role in the direction/success of a growing innovative biotech company, as well as a significant impact on the lives of cancer patients.

Location: Philadelphia, PA metro area

Attractive Features about this Opportunity:

  • “Best of Both Worlds”: Join a well-funded and rapidly-growing company while also getting all the pluses of a small startup organization (quick decision-making, high impact/exposure, nimble/agile, autonomy, etc).
  • Unique “Ground-Floor” Opportunity: As the company’s first Head of Clinical Ops, this is a rare opportunity to create the first clinical operations footprint within the organization.
  • Cutting-Edge Oncology Therapies / Novel Proprietary Technology: This company has developed its own unique technology, opening up a vast domain for discovering innovative new cancer medicines.
  • Great Time to Join: Now is a great time to join this exciting high-growth biotech company; at the ground floor where you will play an integral part in shaping the Clinical Ops department as well as the organization as a whole.
  • High Impact: You will work directly with Executive Management and have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the direction of the company from day one.
  • Strong Partnerships & Collaborations: Our client has strong partnership agreements and collaborations with a number of prominent academic and research institutions conducting cutting-edge research in the oncology area.

Relocation:  Our client will provide relocation assistance for those outside of the area.


The VP of Clinical Operations has overall responsibility for the management of all aspects within the Clinical Operations department to include operational oversight and strategy across oncology clinical development programs.  He/she will be responsible for people management, cross-functional management, executive-level collaboration, strategy, vendor relationships, compliance, and budgets/resources.

  • Report directly to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
  • As the overall head of Clinical Operations, he/she has overall responsibility/leadership oversight of internal Clinical Operations staff, as well as selection and performance of CROs/external service providers.
  • Provide strategic and tactical guidance in the planning, execution, and reporting in all operational aspects of the clinical trials.
  • Establish and maintain functional excellence in all scientific and operational aspects.
  • Perform gap analysis and develop processes and procedures for clinical trial conduct.
  • Set clear goals, objectives, and milestones for Clinical Operations that are consistent with departmental and corporate objectives and priorities.
  • Drive innovation into the Clinical Operations function and advance the company’s systems and processes.
  • Effectively lead the management of CROs/external vendors, considering appropriate KPIs and metrics, through both hands-on oversight as well as through delegating tasks internally.
  • Lead budget, resource and timeline management across the entire Clinical Operations department.
  • Provide critical operational input into study protocol design, oversee maintenance of trial documentation and master file, data validation and completion guidelines.
  • Overall responsibility/oversight for implementing and executing operational input into clinical development plans.
  • Spearhead Clinical Operations department SOPs and process improvements.
  • Implement and incorporate performance metrics into development planning to ensure optimal operational strategies.
  • Represent the company externally and travel to investigative sites as needed.

Experience & Education Requirements:

  • BA/BS in a Life Sciences area is a plus. An advanced degree is a plus.
  • 10+ years of relevant and progressive clinical operations experience gained working in the industry for a pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology company, preferably a mix of both.
  • A successful track record of hiring/building, developing, mentoring and leading a clinical operations team, as well as having led strategic initiatives.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a fast-paced and hands-on environment.


Brian Skurka, Director - P 973-656-0220 x738


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