Director Medicinal Chemistry.

Our client, Symeres, is one of the largest European small molecule CRO & CDMOs, providing R&D services from preclinical drug discovery to Phase I and II clinical stage drug development and manufacturing to major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies around the globe. Its highly specialized services include: integrated small molecule drug discovery, complex synthetic chemistry, route scouting & API synthesis up to GMP production, solid state chemistry and ADME-Tox services.
Symeres, employs over 500 people, many of whom (>50%) are PhD scientists, operating over 6 sites spread across the Netherlands (Weert, Groningen and Nijmegen), the Czech Republic (Prague), Finland (Oulu) and Sweden (Södertälje), along with a business development office in the USA. Over several decades, the company has enjoyed a strong growth trajectory, with revenues rising organically at a double-digit rate per annum, further complemented by strategic M&A.

The Symeres R&D sites in the Netherlands are located in Nijmegen (formerly known as Mercachem) and Groningen (formerly known as Syncom). The Weert and Prague sites are specialized in GMP manufacturing, whereas the sites in Oulu and Södertälje are specialized in the ADME/Toxicolgy related services.

As part of the increasing demand for their services in medicinal chemistry, we are currently looking for a skilled and enthusiastic Director Medicinal Chemistry

After Mercachem and Syncom joined their forces in 2017, the foundation was laid for Symeres.  Symeres is on track to meet its strategic objective to become the premier European mid-sized drug discovery and drug development CRO by 2024. Symeres has a proven track record of over 30 years supporting leading pharma and biotechnology companies with innovative and complex medicinal chemistry and integrated drug discovery programs and is renowned for its high-quality services and problem-solving capabilities. Furthermore, the Group has developed independently novel chemical      matter in a number of areas, including CDK8, IL17 and Tankyrase which will be further developed in milestone-based partnerships.

Symeres is an international company and this is also reflected by the diverse nationalities of their employees.

Groningen, The Netherlands
Symeres Groningen, The Netherlands
Publication date

Job description.

As a senior member of both the global Drug Discovery & local Site Leadership team, you will be leading a highly talented team of 20-30 scientists overseeing small molecule drug  discovery projects on different target classes pertaining to different disease areas.

  • You will be responsible for the development of the collaborators in your team.  
  • You will have responsibility for the quality and delivery of medicinal chemistry in lead finding and lead optimization projects.
  • You will be accountable for solving complex chemistry problems, unraveling conclusive structure-activity and structure-property relationships, within agreed timelines.
  • You will also contribute to molecular design through current expertise or development in those areas. 
  • You will have a pivotal role in proposal writing and will have a key role in interacting with our customers.

As a member of the leadership team you will actively contribute to the wider strategy of Symeres.

Candidate profile.


  • Ph.D., Post Doctoral Fellowship in Synthetic Organic or Medicinal Chemistry.
  • Minimum of ten year’s practical Medicinal Chemistry project and management experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech or related industry.
  • Previous supervisory experience in a pharmaceutical company.
  • Previous experience in leadership of Medicinal Chemistry projects, and proven track record especially in Hit- to-Lead and Lead Optimisation Phases, leading to the delivery of Pre-Clinical Candidates.
  • Experience in multiple target classes or therapeutic areas


  • Enthusiasm for and interest in all methodological and technological aspects related to modern Medicinal and Synthetic Organic Chemistry.
  • Comfortable to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Hard working, inquiring, energetic, confident, and reliable.
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills.
  • Willing to take advice from others, but also to teach and to take a leading role.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, but also customer- and service oriented acting.

This vacancy is open for EU-residents only.

Working conditions.

An exciting position in a dynamic organization with attractive primary and secondary employment conditions.


If you are interested in this position and would like to know more about it, please contact:

Marjo Lucker, Recruitment Consultant
T: +31 6 13 56 19 88


Marije Hoogendoorn, Recruitment Specialist
T: +31 6 23 13 51 18

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