Project leader Medicinal Chemistry (Principal Scientist or Associate Director)

Aligos Therapeutics ( is a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing new classes of compounds that interact directly with disease-causing molecules. These approaches are targeting viral nucleic acids and their encoded proteins, as well as oncogenes and their resultant proteins. The company is also pursuing novel therapeutic agents aimed at activation of the immune system to resolve diseases that cause significant morbidity and mortality.


Aligos is searching for a project leader (senior scientist or associate director) to join its small molecule medicinal chemistry department in Leuven. We are seeking a highly motivated biotech-oriented medicinal chemist with extensive experience in drug discovery. The successful candidate will be responsible for driving lead optimization medicinal chemistry efforts with a broad experience from hit ID to drug candidate selection. She/He should have a track record of innovation, creative problem solving and a biotech spirit. The individual should be an expert in organic chemistry and possess broad scientific knowledge in medicinal chemistry, including a deep understanding of molecular properties and DMPK profiling that lead to the discovery of high-quality drug candidates. The candidate will work closely with patent attorneys to prepare the patent applications. He will lead and manage internal and external medicinal chemists in different locations.


  • Provide innovative and effective leadership in medicinal chemistry from hit ID through clinical candidate selection
  • Scientifically co-lead a drug discovery project team with a biology co-leader to drive every aspects of the discovery project. Early development expertise is a plus
  • Responsible for the success of the chemistry aspects of the drug discovery team through individual contributions and leading an external chemistry team. Lab presence and personal involvement in the synthesis of target compounds is expected.
  • Strong expertise in compound design and synthetic chemistry
  • Develop and ensure high quality and effective cross-site interactions (Leuven-San Francisco) to support and achieve project goals and objectives


  • Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (or equivalent), 8-12 years industrial experience as a medicinal chemist in a pharmaceutical or biotech company
  • Successful track record in leading medicinal chemistry project that resulted in high quality drug candidates
  • Expertise in liver diseases (Hepatitis, NASH, HCC…), oncology and immunology is a plus.
  • Expertise in medicinal chemistry from hit ID to compound selection with broad and in depth knowledge of drug discovery and related disciplines (i.e. ADME, DMPK, toxicology, etc) with a connection to the laboratory. Lab presence is expected.
  • Knowledgeable in all aspect of drug discovery with the intuition of a drug hunter
  • Creativity in the design novel chemotypes and problem-solving synthetic chemistry challenges
  • As we keep expending, participate to the design of new laboratories, their equipment
  • Experience in leading drug discovery projects from hit ID to development (expertise in Early Development is a plus)
  • Experience understanding and writing patent applications and journal articles
  • Ability to work independently and influence decision making within cross-functional teams
  • Highly motivated individual willing to go above and beyond to be successful and to be a key contributor in a highly innovative company
  • Strong verbal communication and writing skills are required

Interested parties should provide a detailed resume including references to