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Senior Director, Global Program Team Leader

Pliant Therapeutics

Pliant Therapeutics

Sales & Business Development
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2023

Pliant Therapeutics is a public, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies for fibrotic diseases. Founded by Third Rock Ventures with world-renowned academic thought leaders, Pliant is raising the bar to meet the unmet medical needs of physicians, patients and families impacted by fibrotic disease. The Company’s focus is on mechanism-based intervention in the fibrotic process using small molecules.

The Company’s lead product candidate, PLN-74809, is an oral, small molecule selective inhibitor of the αvβ1 and αvβ6 integrins that play a key role in multiple fibrotic pathways. PLN-74809 has received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in both idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and are currently in Phase 2a clinical trials for these indications. The company recently reported positive data from its Phase 2a trial in IPF and is currently ramping up activities in preparation for a late-stage clinical trial at worldwide sites.

Pliant has also developed PLN-1474, a small molecule, selective inhibitor of αvß1 for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH with liver fibrosis. Pliant is initiating a Phase 1 study for its third clinical program, PLN-101095, a small molecule, dual-selective inhibitor of αvß8 and αvß1 integrins, that is being developed for the treatment of solid tumors. The Company also has discovery and development programs in oncology and muscular dystrophies.

The Company is seeking passionate, creative, and dedicated individuals to join our team and contribute to our mission.


The Global Program Team Leader (GPTL) leads the cross-functional Global Program Team (GPT) to maximize the value of Pliant’s lead asset PLN-74809 and is accountable for the execution of its development plan(s), from late-stage development to NDA/MAA filings. The GPTL champions the project at Pliant through providing clear communication, creative strategic approaches to development and securing appropriate resources to drive results.

The GPTL role is one of leadership, being proactive, collaborative, and interactive, and emphasizing partnership with cross-functional GPT members and other stakeholders and consultants, both within and outside the organization. The GPTL should stimulate creative and productive decision making, motivate, determine accountability and urgency, identify opportunities and challenges, and drive robust and informed discussions on risk identification and mitigation strategies. The GPTL has negotiation and persuasion skills necessary to ensure success of the program and sets goals for the GPT and specific program-related goals for the GPT members. The GPTL acts as the “voice” of the GPT up the line (Development Review Committee, Executive Leadership Team, Management Team, etc.).


  • Leading the Global Program Team (GPT) across the enterprise for Pliant’s lead asset, PLN-74809, with representation from cross-functional partners, to create and execute a development plan that provides a thorough and clear asset strategy.
  • Integrating input from all functional areas to identify key development issues and the strategic approach to each, with associated timelines and budgets and providing clarity on alternative pathways and tradeoffs considered.
  • Managing the complexity of internal/external development and commercial activities and proactively identifying issues and risks while leading contingency planning and problem solving.
  • Challenging cross-functional representatives to ensure that all issues and questions are being addressed, and that functional area input into the strategy is adequate to meet the needs of the compound.
  • Creating the target product profile in collaboration with commercial, market access, clinical and regulatory affairs and adjusting this profile as new information and insights are gained.
  • Leading discussions at the GPT to reach decisions, including making final decisions when full consensus cannot be reached.
  • Ensuring adherence to Pliant’s governance and operating model.
  • Ensuring development and implementation of optimal IP, clinical, regulatory, medical affairs and publication strategies to protect and maximize asset value.
  • Collaborating closely with the program manager on the asset and sub-team leads to identify and plan fit-for-purpose resources (FTEs and budget) to support the program.
  • Ensuring team alignment with Development Review Committee (DRC) and executing on feedback with regard to Go/No-Go decisions, timelines, key activities, resource allocations and budgets, valuations and prioritization.
  • Driving strategic alignment for development, regulatory, commercial, pricing & market access, and medical affairs plans.
  • Presenting strategic options and leading phase transition proposals at DRC.
  • Representing the GPT on various cross-functional committees.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, abilities and prior experience required.

  • Deep understanding of the unmet need addressed by the asset; scientific/disease areas expertise as well as expertise in current and innovative therapeutic development paradigms.
  • Ability to integrate all cross-functional disciplines into a successful strategy and to drive results.
  • Strong problem-solving skills for developing creative solutions and meeting project objectives.
  • Influence, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills, including the ability to influence without clear reporting authority. Ability to identify and manage stakeholders, including at the most senior levels in the organization.
  • Demonstrated ability of strategic thinking and contingency planning.
  • Deep understanding of requirements for successful commercialization of a new product, including competitive and payer landscape across different geographies and pricing strategies.
  • Strategic agility: Understanding big picture for compound and Pliant’s portfolio, translating scientific and business concepts into short and long-term deliverables, managing ambiguity, and making decisions with incomplete data.
  • Advanced Degree (Ph.D., M.D., Pharm.D., MBA) with at least 10 years of pharmaceutical/biotech industry experience, or BA/BS with at least 14 years of pharmaceutical industry experience is required.
  • Experience in a leadership role as part of a research-driven pharmaceutical company is required.
  • Experience in late-stage drug development is required.
  • Experience in late-stage regulatory filings is preferred.
  • Experience in cross-functional team leadership, including strategy development and driving tactical delivery of programs is required.
  • Experience in influence, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills, including the ability to influence without reporting authority are required.
  • Outstanding leadership and communication skills are required.
  • Experience with drug development in rare disease and/or fibrosis is preferred.

Pliant requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated prior to the first date of employment (subject to any legally required exemptions).

The annual base salary for this role is $260,000 - $270,000. Individual pay may vary based on additional factors, including, and without limitation job-related skills, experience, work location and relevant education or training. Pliant’s compensation package also includes benefits, equity, and annual target bonus for fulltime positions.

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