Head of Viral Vector Development

Job description

Are you an expert in viral vector process development for gene therapy products? And would you enjoy being at the forefront of establishing a new facility for the development and production of cell and gene therapies assessable to early stage companies? NecstGen is located in the Leiden Bio Science Park and in the process of realizing a state-of the art facility of close to 4,000 m2 space for novel cell and gene therapy development and production. Join this exciting adventure and seize the opportunity to play a key role in establishing this unique center of expertise.

What you will do

As Head of Viral Vector Development you will build a highly expert team, support setup of the facility and start pilot scale production processes and process development projects for vector manufacture. Your colleagues will count on your key expertise on viral vector production processes while we work towards GMP certification in 2022. NecstGen has secured funding and a long lease in a modern building to create a new technical facility, we are now looking for an expert with strategic overview and a hands-on mentality. Are you ready to seize this chance to shape an organisation the way it should be done?

Your responsibilities furthermore include:

  • Lead the industrialisation of viral vector-based gene therapy projects (USP, DSP, tech transfer, budget and planning);
  • Optimize manufacturing processes (e.g. transfection, cell culture, assays/analytics, scale-up, equipment selection etc.);
  • Recruit, lead and develop your team, resolve challenges and ensure a positive, inclusive environment;
  • Have a pivotal role in external stakeholder engagement;
  • Contribute to conferences client meetings, proposal generation and business development.

Job requirements

What we ask

We are looking for a Head of Viral Vector Development with a track-record in process development projects including optimization and technology transfer from R&D towards GMP production. Furthermore, you bring:

  • Hands-on expertise of viral vector production (LV or AAV using HEK293 cell-line in suspension);
  • In-depth expertise of USP or DSP process development for viral vector production;
  • Experience with DoE or other systems for multi-variate process optimization;
  • Strong communication skills;
  • A self-starter with a pro-active, goal-oriented personality who is ambitious, collaborative and enjoys adventure!


Together with our clients and partners we challenge today’s possibilities to enable the unthinkable and make a difference in people’s lives by getting more cell and gene therapies to the patient.

The Netherlands Center for the Clinical advancement of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies (NecstGen ) will primarily enable early-stage research organizations and start-ups to efficiently develop novel cell and gene therapies. Ultimately it is expected that NecstGen will engage with organisations of all scales worldwide.

NecstGen is a spin out of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) which is our only shareholder. This enables us to be not just a CDMO but a centre of expertise with a unique position. Our aim is to dedicate our resources to deliver high quality services, accessible to early stage research organizations and start-ups to develop novel cell and gene therapies. We recently signed a 15-year rental agreement to realize a facility of close to 4,000 m2 space including 13 cleanrooms for novel cell and gene therapy production.

NecstGen supports the translation of novel therapies and technologies to GMP production. We offer development and GMP manufacturing services, including fill and finish and bring together expertise from R&D, process development including analytical, Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Regulatory Affairs, Business Development and Manufacturing in a purpose-built GMP production facility.

Our current team consists of professionals from industry and academia with an entrepreneurial mind-set and a drive to make a difference. We are a flat organization with a participative management style.

What is in it for you?

As Head of Viral Vector Development you will enjoy the best of both worlds; the culture, opportunities and excitement of a new organistion with all the benefits and security of an established institute. At NecstGen you will be challenged and supported to leverage your skills and expertise to make an impact on people’s lives and the opportunity to grow with the company.

At NecstGen we believe that people are the foundation of our successes and hence we invest in excellent benefits, a healthy supportive working environment, flexible hours, and training & development. A fulltime position at NecstGen consists of a 36-hours workweek. In addition to a competitive salary you will receive:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • A 13th-month payment;
  • An excellent pension and insurance plan.

If this position sparks your enthusiasm, we would love to hear from you! Don’t hesitate to contact Evelien Luijt (e.l.luijt@lumc.nl) for more information.