Team Leader Medicinal Chemistry

Acerta Pharma is the growing Haematological Oncology R&D centre of AstraZeneca in the Netherlands. We are looking for a highly motivated Team Leader Medicinal Chemistry who will be dedicated to discovering and delivering innovative medicines for haematological malignancies. Working at Acerta Pharma means being entrepreneurial, and working globally together with AstraZeneca at the forefront of developing the next generation of cancer therapies.

As a Team Leader Medicinal Chemistry you will play a central role in channeling our scientific capabilities into the discovery and development of novel small molecule candidate drugs in the field of haematology/oncology.

You will lead your local team of chemists and interact at a global level with your colleagues from AstraZeneca in the US, UK and Sweden.

As part of the significant expansion of our research activities in the Netherlands, we are in the process of building a new research centre at Pivot Park in Oss, with state-of-the-art research laboratories, due to open in Q1 2024.

Team Leader Medicinal Chemistry (PhD)

Your challenge:
As our new Team Leader Medicinal Chemistry, you will be in the lead of one or more innovative drug discovery projects, covering modalities ranging from small to medium sized molecules. You will give strategic directions to these projects and you will work together and align with your colleagues from other disciplines from Acerta Pharma and AstraZeneca. Based on your scientific experience and leadership skills you will serve as a coach for your team and at the same time be a strong advisor at senior management level.

What will you be doing?

  • You will lead a team of chemists/medicinal chemists. You will be coaching, motivating and developing your team both at a scientific and a personal development level.
  • Together with your team, you will be responsible for the delivery of key project milestones across the whole range of drug discovery phases. This will include the application of drug design and medicinal chemistry principles, implementation of state-of-the-art computational chemistry methodologies in collaboration with colleagues from Computational Chemistry, and execution of high quality organic synthetic chemistry.
  • You will align and team up with leads from disciplines including DMPK, Safety, Pharmaceutical Sciences, according to the status and needs of your projects.
  • You will be a strong advocate for your projects towards senior management, being a good communicator and presenter and aligning with key stakeholders across the organization.

What do you bring?

  • You hold a PhD in Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry or a related field with a minimum of 5 years of relevant experience (after PhD) in the pharmaceutical industry (must have) with a proven capability to solve challenging problems within drug discovery.
  • You have a strong track record in leading drug discovery projects through key milestones, ranging from hit finding through identification of preclinical candidates (must have).
  • You are able to provide good stakeholder management with strong leadership, communication and presentation skills.
  • You have a track record of scientific visibility through publications, patents and presentations at conferences.

What do we offer you?
A dynamic, innovative and international working environment. You are part of the development process of new drugs that can make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their loved ones. 

The opportunity to further develop yourself and your roll in the company through experience, additional responsibilities and a wide range of training courses. International growth (within AstraZeneca) is also one of the possibilities.

Good primary & secondary benefits including 8% holiday allowance, 25 holidays on a full-time basis plus office closure between X-mas and New Year & Good Friday. Collective pension with a fixed percentage personal contribution and a generous bonus scheme. 

Personal budget which can be used for vitality, home office equipment, sustainability or personal development. Access to internal training and learning and development offerings. 

For expat candidates: we offer a good relocation package (including support for an application to the tax authorities for the 30% tax ruling); an expat program, including a language course and the opportunity to learn more about Dutch culture.

Acerta Pharma
Acerta Pharma is located at the Pivot Park in Oss, the Netherlands. We currently have 100 employees, and we will continue to grow our work force the coming years. Together with our colleagues of AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, San Francisco, Boston (US), Gothenburg (SE) and Cambridge (UK) we are committed to innovative drug discovery and development in the field of haematological oncology. Acerta Pharma has received approval from both the US (FDA) and the European Regulator (EMA) for its small molecule BTK inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). In addition, AstraZeneca and Acerta Pharma are collaborating on a large number of other innovative medicines to treat haematological malignant diseases.

How to apply:
We would like to receive your English CV. For this, go to the apply button on this page on the website of Acerta Pharma. You can upload your CV and cover letter at the bottom of the second page.

If you have any questions about this vacancy, our Recruitment team (Karin Raadschelders, Caroline van Oppen, Maaike Willems) can be reached via or on +31(0)85 – 047 0244.

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

Pivot Park Captains' Dinner

10 years ago, Pivot Park opened its doors to the world. Thanks to your commitment, support and confidence, we have been able to grow it into the successful and innovative biopharmaceutical campus it is today.

Now it’s time to celebrate!

We are therefore delighted to invite you – along with all your fellow CEOs at Pivot Park – to a special night out featuring inspiring art, a wonderful dinner and lots of opportunities to network and exchange ideas.

Erwin Wurm | Am I a House?

For the first time, the artist shows a cross-section of his work, from Narrow Furniture to One Minute Sculptures, within the walls of a historic building. Villa Constance, a former home that today houses Museum Jan Cunen, is not only a location but also part of the conversation. Because what exactly is a house?


The development of medicines in Oss began one hundred years ago. It was then that the foundations were laid for what would become a flourishing pharmaceutical sector in the Netherlands, leading to groundbreaking discoveries such as insulin and the anti-conception pill.

Today, the entire chain is still represented in Oss, from early-stage research to the commercial scale production of medicines. Working in Oss, we focus on the health of people all over the world. Employees at dozens of companies large and small put their heart and soul into new medicines, products and services that will improve lives worldwide. Together, our strength lies in our combination of broad knowledge about the development of medicines and a thorough understanding of the requirements of high-quality production.

This shared past and common values stimulate strong bonds among everyone who works in pharmaceuticals in Oss. We build on qualities, expertise and networks that go back decades. And with a wide variety of pharmaceutical companies, suppliers and scientific institutions all located nearby, we offer an attractive business climate and an excellent basis for international collaboration.

We are proud to work together to create a better and healthier future for all, a collaboration that in turn fuels growing employment: today, most pharmaceutical jobs in the Netherlands are in Oss. Here we connect talent and companies and stimulate entrepreneurship, while our expert employees are our most important asset. Their drive ensures that Oss has an influence on health all over the world.

Pharma in Oss offers endless opportunities to startups and talent in a city and region that is a joy to live and work in. We are committed to collaboration and sustainable and successful entrepreneurship. Oss’s pharmaceutical companies are intrinsically competitive while also being committed to quality and safety. This, plus their focus on new health solutions and contemporary technology, makes us a leader in our pursuit of a better life for people worldwide.