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Patent Agent

Pliant Therapeutics

Pliant Therapeutics

South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2024

Pliant Therapeutics is a late-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 diseases. As the leader in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of fibrotic diseases, Pliant is developing small molecule drug candidates specifically designed to impact the fibrotic process.

The Company’s lead product candidate, bexotegrast (PLN-74809), is an oral small molecule, selective inhibitor of the αvβ1 and αvβ6 integrins that play a key role in multiple fibrotic pathways. Bexotegrast has received Fast Track Designation and Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for both idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and Orphan Drug Designation from the European Medicines Agency in IPF and PSC. Pliant is currently conducting BEACON-IPF, a Phase 2b trial of bexotegrast for the treatment of IPF and INTEGRIS-PSC, a Phase 2a trial of bexotegrast for the treatment of PSC.

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 conducting 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.


Pliant Therapeutics is seeking a talented Patent Agent with a PhD in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry. You’ll work closely with the head of IP and our R&D team to prepare, file, and prosecute patent applications directed to new small molecule therapeutics to treat fibrotic diseases. You will develop in-depth expertise in the areas of TGF-ß activation and integrin biology and provide guidance on patent law issues to business groups and scientists. You will be given increasing responsibility to directly manage patent families, especially foreign prosecution, as you demonstrate and expand your skills. We are seeking individuals who are passionate about the future of treating fibrotic diseases and have the energy and boldness to thrive and grow in a dynamic and fast startup environment.

This position is local, requiring at least 3 days in the office per week.


  • Work independently and with external counsel to draft and prosecute a complex portfolio of small molecule pharmaceutical applications, both domestic and foreign
  • Collaborate with legal and business leadership, in a well-formed, pragmatic and professional manner
  • Identify and communicate complex technical and legal issues to internal stakeholders and advocate solutions
  • Develop strong relationships with R&D teams across the company to identify patentable inventions and obtain detailed invention disclosures for patent drafting
  • Work with technical contributors in a respectful and forthright manner to assess inventorship determination
  • Conduct searches and prepare patentability and freedom to operate assessments in collaboration with outside counsel
  • Proactively identify potential issues by conducting regular competitive intelligence reviews of patents and scientific publications
  • Provide IP support to functions within the company including due diligence, business development, licensing, and contract review
  • Continuously develop and improve knowledge of domestic and international patent laws, regulations, and procedures
  • Contribute to best practice development and training for company employees for IP protection, invention disclosures, and support for patent application drafting and prosecution
  • Review invoices from external counsel; assist in managing IP budget


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.

  • Ph.D. in Organic or Medicinal Chemistry
  • Admitted to practice before the USPTO; if an attorney
  • 5+ years of experience, including at least 4 years at a law firm, in drafting and prosecuting patent application and conducting patentability and freedom-to-operate searches. Pharmaceutical industry experience is desirable but not required.
  • Skilled in drafting, filing, and prosecuting domestic and foreign patent applications, including drafting at least 10 small molecule pharmaceutical applications from scratch. Experience with antibody applications is a plus.
  • Deep technical knowledge in organic and medicinal chemistry; experience with fibrosis biology is highly desirable
  • Strong knowledge of domestic and international patent laws, regulations, and procedures
  • Excellent communication and advocacy skills, both verbal and written; able to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders to drive projects forward
  • Excellent intrapersonal, technical, and legal judgment
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, organizational & project management skills; able to prioritize multiple priorities to meet tight deadlines
  • Precise and efficient with excellent attention to detail
  • Independent, self-directed, and creative, with a high degree of dedication to professional and organizational improvement, with a strong sense of ownership and urgency
  • Team player with strong collaborative and interpersonal skills, willing to take on challenges in a dynamic environment
  • Proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and ChemDraw; experience conducting chemical structure searching using online databases is highly desirable
  • Must be fluent in written and spoken English

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 $220k - $230k. 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.

To understand how Pliant complies with and manages your personal information with respect to the California Consumer Privacy Act, please visit