Job Title: SBS-226 Program Lead

Report To: CEO and Chief Business Officer


Sparian Overview: Sparian Biosciences is an early-stage CNS-focused biopharmaceutical company that spun out of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2018. Our over-arching mission is to develop therapeutics to improve human health and relieve suffering. Currently, we have four distinct CNS programs which address different aspects of the opioid crisis – pain management, opioid use disorder, and opioid overdose. We are looking to hire a Program Lead for our SBS-226 program - a novel compound being developed to treat opioid use disorder. SBS-226 is a synthetic compound that is structurally similar to mitragynine pseudoindoxyl - one of the primary alkaloids in Kratom. SBS-226 is a new chemical entity (NCE) synthesized and developed in the Pasternak/Majumdar Lab. SBS-226 is a very weak MOR agonist and potent DOR antagonist. Preclinically, SBS-226 can ameliorate opioid withdrawal but does not demonstrate abuse potential, respiratory depression, or physical dependence. Check out our website to learn more about the company, the team, and the SBS-226 program.


Sparian is headquartered in NYC, however right now we are a virtual company. Job location to be discussed with applicant.


Program Lead Responsibilities

The Program Lead will essentially be the “point person” for everything related to SBS-226. You will manage the product development, create the product strategy, and ensure that the product’s development is in line with company goals and vision.

  • Project Management: Manage the development of the product through lead optimization, manufacturing, preclinical toxicology studies, regulatory submissions, and clinical development. Collaborate and coordinate all development activities with management team, consultants (e.g., CMC, Tox, Regulatory and Clinical consultants), academic partners, vendors (CMOs and CROs), NIH Program managers and investors. Specifically, you will develop and manage timelines for all development activities, attend daily / weekly updates with vendors to review data and make development decisions, work closely with consultants to interpret data and make development decisions, manage budget for all vendor and consultant activities, and more.  It is OK if you don’t already know everything about early-stage drug development, but we expect you to learn almost anything about early stage drug development
  • Strategy: Develop deep understanding of the product and the market to refine an overarching program strategy
  • Company Growth: Work closely with management team to bring product specific insights to overall company development. Participate in general company activities such as financing and/or operations and/or and business development, etc.


 What Program Lead Can Expect

  • Become integral team member of a growing biotech startup
  • Close mentorship from management and subject matter experts
  • Become proficient in all aspects of early drug development (e.g., lead optimization, CMC, preclinical tox, early regulatory submission, early clinical development, etc.) 
  • Address our national public health opioids crisis 



  • Passion for discovering and developing novel medications to address CNS disorders
  • Interest in early-stage drug development
  • Eagerness to work at a startup
  • 3 – 5+ years of full-time experience in life science industry  
  • Experience in program lead / project management roles at pharma / biotech company
  • Experience in preclinical development (CMC, Tox, Reg)
    • Demonstrated ability to develop a product from lead optimization through an IND (preferred) 
  • Strong science background
    • Undergraduate or Master’s degree in the biological sciences (required)
    • Ability to proficiently read scientific papers (required)
    • Wet lab experience (preferred)
    • PhD in biological sciences or MBA (preferred)
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Strong communication skills and teamwork skills
    • Program Lead will work closely with management, academics, consultants, vendors, government officials, investors, etc.
  • Data driven approach to decision making


Next Steps

  • Visit Website to learn more about Sparian Biosciences
  • Suggested Readings
    • Váradi, A., et al.  (2016). Mitragynine /Corynantheidine Pseudoindoxyls As Opioid Analgesics with Mu Agonism and Delta Antagonism, Which Do Not Recruit β-Arrestin-2. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 59(18), 8381–8397.
    • Pasternak, G. W. (2018). Mu Opioid Pharmacology: 40 Years to the Promised Land. Advances in Pharmacology, 261–291.​
  • Apply!
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