Director of Plant Genetics and Development

Neuchâtel, Switzerland | Full-Time

Contract Type: Permanent

Closing date:

Reference: VN1592

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Who we are

Vectura Fertin Pharma’s ambition is to become a market-leading wellness and healthcare business. Formed in March 2022, the business brings together two unique organizations: Vectura, experts in inhalation technology, and Fertin Pharma, experts in oral and intra-oral delivery systems.

We are driven by the exciting and unique goal of addressing unmet patient and consumer needs by revitalizing, repurposing, and reimagining existing therapies to better serve people in taking care of their health and wellbeing.

What we will deliver

We focus on the development of a proprietary pipeline of wellness and healthcare products, with a specific focus on highly differentiated products that address unmet medical and consumer needs.

By leveraging our unique and enabling R&D capabilities, we are building a pipeline that includes inhalable medicines and consumer wellness products.

Our ambition in cannabinoids

At Vectura Fertin Pharma, we are passionate about finding new and better ways to enhance life.

We believe that cannabinoids have a role to play in healthcare and wellness. But today there is a huge need for science-backed products and standards for safety, dose, and quality.

Our ambition is to be a leader in developing and commercializing safe, scientifically tested, and best-in-class medical and wellness cannabinoid products that patients and consumers can trust.

We have the scientific rigor, patient and consumer insights and the right capabilities to responsibly lead the way, with a unique combination of innovative technologies in inhalation and oral delivery systems and prescription drug development expertise.

We have a clear mission to unlock the potential of cannabinoids to address unmet medical and health needs while meeting the potential requirements of a complex legal and regulatory environment.
This is a unique opportunity to be part of a team whose pioneering approach is rooted in robust science and clinical research programs.

About the Role

Cannabinoids have shown promise in healthcare, but there is a huge need for science-backed products and standards for hemp plant breeding, cultivation, quality, and supply. Our ambition is to be a world leader in developing safe and effective cannabinoid products to meet significant unmet medical need – The successful candidate will be passionate about delivering on this ambition.

In this role you will be responsible for leading and managing the research, development, and supply activities related to hemp cultivation and utilization. The role is critical in advancing the knowledge and application of hemp for differentiated products in the healthcare and wellness space. This role is not just about utilising conventional plant heritage and modern-day breeding but also about being at the leading edge of breeding science – you will be expert in not just the science behind plants, but also in the practicalities of taking hemp from seed to product in a commercially viable process.

This role will be responsible for developing and executing a strategic plan for hemp research and development, setting clear objectives and priorities in line with the organization's goals. Key aspects will include:

• Genetics and Breeding: Oversee hemp genetics and breeding programs with third parties to develop high-yield, disease-resistant, and versatile hemp strains suitable for various applications.
• Crop Management: Manage hemp cultivation and production, optimizing crop yield and quality while ensuring sustainable and environmentally responsible practices.
• Product Development: Guide the development of hemp-based pharmaceutical products through research and hemp innovation.
• Collaboration: Foster partnerships and collaborations with academic institutions, industry organizations, and government agencies to leverage resources and knowledge in the field.

About You

• You will have an in-depth knowledge of hemp genetics, variety development, cultivation practices, and processing techniques.
• You will be able to utilise this knowledge to oversee, guide and support external projects & developments at 3rd parties (e.g., breeding programs, cutting, cloning, transplanting, vegetative, and flowering cycles).
• Ideally, you will have overseen field trials with cultivation partners across geographies, micro-climates, and growing environments.
• You will have knowledge of horticultural practices and familiarity with all General Agricultural Practices, General Handling Practices, and Good Manufacturing Practices. You will also have experience in reviewing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) protocols.
• Managing research teams, projects and partnerships with 3rd party organisations, directing their efforts in areas such as plant genetics, agronomy, processing, and aroma characterization will be critical to this role.

Qualifications / Experience

• Advanced degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in a relevant field, such as plant science, agronomy, biotechnology, or plant breeding.
• 5-10+ years of industrial experience in hemp growing Industry focused on the research, development, and distribution of hemp for cannabinoid / medical cannabis products.
• Extensive experience in hemp breeding, ideally with a strong publication record.
• Strong experience in SOP development and auditing of cultivation facilities.
• Excellent communication and networking skills to build collaborations and represent the organization. Able to build strong relationships with internal stakeholders and 3rd party partners (e.g., cultivators, plant processors, academic institutions).
• Strong understanding of regulatory and quality requirements, ideally on a local, national, and international basis, related to hemp to ensure full compliance in all research and development activities pertinent to Hemp.
• Experience in developing pricing scenarios for hemp materials to inform specific cannabinoid products development efforts.


Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Quai Jeanrenaud 3 Neuchâtel
Neuchâtel 2000