Drug Hunter

Drug hunter /
Full-time (French "CDI") /
About Aqemia

AQEMIA is a next-gen techbio generating one of the world's fastest-growing drug discovery pipelines. Our mission is to design fast many innovative drug candidates for critical diseases. Our differentiation lies in our unique quantum and statistical mechanics algorithms to power a generative artificial intelligence designing novel drug candidates, without the need to train on experimental data. We already delivered several drug discovery successes in the internal pipeline as well as in collaboration with Pharma companies - most advanced programs being currently in vivo optimization.

About the team you’ll join
Within Aqemia’s drug discovery portfolio team, Drug hunters are the pillars of drug discovery projects, leveraging our unique technology to invent a next generation of drugs.
Objective of such projects is to invent therapeutic molecules (hits / leads) against a given target protein and related disease, leveraging our unique technology combining new Physics and Machine Learning algorithms.
Projects can be in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies to invent molecules for their targets, or within Aqemia internal project portfolio.
A project is run by a core team - ie a drug hunter, a project leader, plus part of a Chemist and Biologist - and relies on the technology and ways of working developed by Aqemia platform.

Your role as a drug hunter at Aqemia

    • Design / Generate in the computer small molecules to address a given therapeutic target, starting with drug-target affinity and selectivity, and adding other efficiency & safety properties within Aqemia or in collaboration with Pharma partners based on technology from Aqemia’s platform, experimental results from the project and literature from the project
    • Communicate in a concise and written way your hypotheses and work plan, so that they can be discussed and improved, incl. code with attention to robustness and reproducibility
    • Apply and test the baseline technology and ways of working developed by Aqemia’s platform: generative AI algorithms to invent molecules, properties prediction models, molecular dynamic techniques, …
    • Give systematic feedback to Aqemia’s technology platform in a structured and constructive way, based on your experience and project experimental results
    • Propose new ideas to advance the project and improve Aqemia’s technology to make it more precise, fast, scalable
    • Discuss Chemistry plan with CROs to optimize predictions of properties and ease of synthesis and test
    • Work hand-in-hand with Aqemia’s interdisciplinary team beyond your project team, incl. Machine Learning engineers, software engineers, computational chemists and theoretical physicists
    • Mentor more junior drug hunters

The competencies we are looking for

    • You have Ph.D. and post-doctoral experience as well as a track record of technical excellence as shown by peer reviewed publications
    • Inventorship status on patents is a great nice to have
    • You have 3+ years of pharma/biotech/CRO experience with a focus on computational chemistry or computational biology
    • You have hands-on experience in computational chemistry applied to drug discovery using state-of-the-art structure-based or ligand-based methods, including techniques such as virtual screening, molecular docking, structure-activity relationship analysis, multi-property optimization-based compound design
    • You have extensive knowledge of protein structures, functions and protein-ligand interactions
    • You have knowledge of computational chemistry packages: RDKIT, OpenMM, parmed, GROMACS, Ambertools, MDAnalysis, …
    • You have proficiency in small molecule ligand discovery (esp. SBDD) and cheminformatics techniques including protein homology modeling, small molecule docking and pharmacophore hypothesis, in silico virtual screening, QSAR and ADMET properties modeling, database searches, combinatorial library design, FEP based affinity predictions, molecular dynamics simulations, etc.
    • You are an object-oriented programmer coder who’s comfortable with object-oriented programming in Linux/UNIX environments. 
    • Intermediate to advanced python programming
    • Preferred mindset
    • You are eager to play an active role in contributing to Aqemia’s strategy to develop drugs for patients.
    • You are anxious to bring your wealth of knowledge and skills to the table to inspire and coach brilliant people from diverse backgrounds.
    • You are keen to solve tough problems on issues that truly matter, with a proactive and a can-do attitude.
    • You thrive on working collaboratively in a fast-paced, interdisciplinary environment that keeps everyone on track.

Our recruitment process

    • 1 - Hiring Manager’s interview: you’ll meet directly with your future manager Quentin (1h, visio call)
    • 2 - Technical assessment of your skills: questions around molecular modeling, medical chemistry, molecular docking and cheminformatics (1h, visio call)
    • 3 - Cultural fit interview with our co-founder and COO Emmanuelle (45min, visio call)
    • 4 - Final interview with our co-founder and CEO Maximilien (45min, visio call)
About us

We work for a mission: joining us means having your own impact on changing the way drugs are discovered, and helping to shape the direction of our fast-growing company and team.

- Mission-Driven: We want to find many drugs and change drug discovery paradigm
- Fast-growing drug discovery pipe and proofs: 
> Internal pipeline with multiple programs against cancer for now, most advanced ones currently in vivo proof of concept/ patent stage
> Collaborations with several top Pharma companies such as Sanofi, J&J, Servier, incl. 140M$ deal with Sanofi
- Interdisciplinary world-Class team: built a team of 60 top tier people at the crossroads of tech and life sciences
- Experienced Founders: 15+ years experience including resp. leading research at ENS, Oxford, Cambridge and career in strategy con>sulting at BCG.
- DeepTech Innovators: Part of the French Tech 120 and France 2030, spinoff of Ecole Normale Superieure and CNRS
- Prime Location: Paris (1 Bd Pasteur) with 2 days of remote per week.
- International environment: Our working language is English. We offer a relocation package for those who wish to join us in France, which includes assistance in finding an apartment, help with all administrative tasks, and optional French lessons.
- Fundraising: $60M with European tech/deeptech funds - Elaia Partners (French leader deeptech VC), Eurazeo (largest European investment fund), Bpifrance Large Venture (largest French fund and fund of funds) and Wendel (PE tech fund).