Biotechnologist Lead

Company Background

Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of cell therapies for a broad range of cancers.

Tessa’s clinical pipeline derives from  two innovative cell therapy platforms; CD30 Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CD30-CARs) and Virus-Specific T cells (VSTs). Our lead candidate comprises autologous CD30 CAR-T cell therapy targeting classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) and CD30+ non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

Tessa is also developing a novel, allogeneic platform technology, as a new approach to traditional cell therapy. By combining the unique properties CD30-CARs and VSTs, the platform holds potential for the creation of next-generation off-the-shelf cell therapies against a variety of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.

Tessa’s state-of-the-art GMP cell therapy manufacturing facility will open in early 2021, and will substantially enhance in-house production capabilities. Tessa is focused on rapidly and reliably providing safe, effective treatment options for patients.


Job Position
Biotechnologist Lead

Position Summary
As a Biotechnologist Lead, you will use your strong GMP working knowledge and experience to lead and work alongside a biotechnologist team in the manufacturing of autologous T cell therapy products. You will be responsible for planning and driving the execution of manufacturing activities in a cleanroom processing suite, including – providing weekly and monthly activity forecast, planning daily cleanroom activities and ensure the team is focused in execution of these activities. You will lead and motivate the team to ensure excellence standards of manufacturability, cleanroom operational efficiency while being compliant to GMP requirements. You will foster a highly collaborative, professional, and high performing cleanroom culture that will deliver excellent results while establishing a positive and high energy workplace environment. During the initial months of the role, you will be involved in the preparation and operational readiness of the new cGMP Cell Therapy Manufacturing Facility in Singapore.

Job Description

Manufacturing Cleanroom Operations

  • Adhere to the production schedule ensuring on-time, and other internal and safety related workflows.
  • Produce autologous/allogeneic T cell products from venesected blood through cell culture, harvest, and cryopreservation steps in accordance to the Batch Manufacturing Record (BMR).
  • Observe strict aseptic and sterile manufacturing practices for cell culture and other cleanroom related activities to ensure compliance to current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP).
  • Record manufacturing data and information in a clear, concise, format in accordance to Good Documentation Practice (GDocP) and fundamental data integrity principles.
  • Clean and maintain the GMP Facility, cleanroom, and associated manufacturing equipment.
  • Technical owner and reviewer of manufacturing documents such as batch manufacturing records, SOPs, forms, and monitoring / log sheets whilst ensuring accuracy and compliance to cGMP and GDocP standards.
  • Responsible for overseeing closure of batch record review and deviations write ups to ensure timely batch release of the final product.
  • Participate in cross functional teams to drive non-conformance investigations – root cause analysis, impact assessments and closures. And where applicable, to implement appropriate and effective Corrective and Preventative Action to prevent recurrence.
  • Develop comprehensive safety risk assessments and adhere to all environment, health, and safety (EHS) and support EHS initiatives to build a strong safety mindset on the manufacturing floor.
  • Train new employees and coach existing employees.

Team Management

  • Develop a high performing team in a manufacturing suite against the defined manufacturing KPIs.
  • Chair and participate in the internal manufacturing tier meetings and discussions.
  • Responsible for aspects of daily cleanroom activities from resource planning, suite preparation to batch record sign-off.
  • Champion a strong culture of Right First Time (RFT), low error rate and consistent GMP / cleanroom behaviour.
  • Evaluate job performance of the biotechnologists and report their development to Manager.
  • Ensure the safety and productivity of all employees assigned to designated shift.
  • Suggest and implement cost-savings ideas.

Setting up the cGMP Cell Therapy Manufacturing Facility

  • Utilize manufacturing process operations and commercial facility experience to participate in cross functional working groups as a user representative to drive the design and implementation of manufacturing related workflows.
  • Participate in process and technology transfers as a receiving site from Tessa’s R&D partners.
  • Creation of manufacturing related documents which will state the manufacturing workflows and equipment usage clearly and prepare the associated training materials.
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the manufacturing workflows and usage of the equipment. Able to conduct training and qualification for those topics when required.


  • Strong demonstrated understanding of cell culture techniques, cryopreservation processes, purification methods, and sterile manufacturing operations is required.
  • Degree in Biotechnology / Chemical Engineering / Bioengineering / Life Sciences or any related field.
  • Minimum of 5 years in a GMP biopharmaceutical manufacturing related role (for Senior Biotechnologist) and minimum of 8 years in a GMP biopharmaceutical manufacturing related role (for Lead Biotechnologist)
  • Applicant must be familiar with a GMP environment, fundamental quality systems (deviation, corrective action preventative action, change control, etc) and regulatory compliance expectations on manufacturing floor.
  • Familiar with six sigma, lean manufacturing principles and other process improvement tools.
  •  Strong technical writing abilities with experience in writing SOPs or any other similar technical documents and with a good working knowledge of GMP.
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision and direction.
  • Experience in applying various Root Cause Analysis tools and designing effective CAPAs to address the identified Root Causes.
  • Good analytical, planning and coordination skills to work in internal cross functional groups and external cross organizational working groups. Good communication and presentation skills are essential.

Preferred Requirements

  • Experience in leading a high performing team as well as being a strong team player with demonstrated ability to build positive relationship with a strong set of interpersonal skills.
  • Experience in major CAPEX project like setting up of a manufacturing facility (either green field or brown field projects) as a user representative.
  • Cross functional experience in a supporting department within the biopharmaceutical manufacturing operations such as Quality Assurance, Quality Control or Supply Chain.
  • User experience with applications such as SAP and Trackwise.
  • Proficient in MS Office Suite (Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel).
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.