Chief Financial Officer

  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Full-time
  • Department: Finance

Company Description

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals is a publicly traded (NASDAQ: AUPH; TSX: AUP), clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies in disease areas of high unmet medical need. They are currently developing voclosporin, an investigational drug, for the treatment of lupus nephritis (LN) and an ophthalmic solution (VOS), a topical formulation, for the treatment of dry eye syndrome (DES). Additionally, they are advancing voclosporin and focal segmental glomerularsclerosis (FSGS). The product, Voclosporin, is an immunomodulating drug which is formed by modifying an amino acid of cyclosporine, belonging to a class called calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs). CNIs have been commonly used since 1983 in solid organ transplant patients. Aurinia’s modification results in a more predictable PK/PD relationship, increasing potency for an altered metabolic profile and potential flat dosing. Originally formed in Canada in 1993, and subsequently listing on the Toronto Exchange in 1996, the legacy organization underwent a transformative event in 2013, acquiring and consolidating closely held Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, adopting the name it has today: Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. The company is rooted in deep Clinical Development expertise as many of its management team are formerly from Aspreva, which is the first company to execute the pivotal lupus nephritis studies resulting in mycophenolate mofetil becoming the standard of care for LN today. In 2016, Aurinia received Fast-Track Designation from the FDA to develop voclosporin toward addressing severe unmet medical needs. In May 2017, the company commenced its Phase III trial in lupus nephritis which recently concluded, far surpassing the primary and secondary endpoints while maintaining a favorable safety profile and no observed penalties over the standard of care alone. The company intends to file an NDA in the second quarter of this year with a projected AdCom in the fourth quarter. While pursuing LN as the primary focus for the organization, in October 2017 Aurinia announced that it expanded its efforts beyond the renal franchise, pursuing novel indications in development programs for the treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome (DES), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). These additions signaled a forward thinking and robust expansion of the strategy, pipeline and commercial opportunities by positioning the company in new areas of development beyond just one disease and indication. For example, the organization recently licensed the treatment of Dry Eye to Merck Animal Health which provides a supplemental stream of resources. In 2019, Aurinia made several strategic executive hires, including the appointment of Peter Greenleaf as Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, the company opened its US Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland and in December of 2019 raised $191mm in a public offering resulting on over $300M in cash on the balance sheet. This capital is earmarked to fund the company’s build out key functions in support of the projected LN commercial launch in 2021

Job Description

Our client is seeking a Chief Financial Officer who, as a strategic partner to the Chief Executive Officer, will work closely with the Board and the senior management team to further create and build value for the company. Key to this vision, Aurinia are seeking a CFO who can use his/her position, credibility and momentum to help build the company, develop and strengthen the financial organization (and subsequent functions). This person will do so by utilizing strong business acumen to strategically scale the organization into a successful enterprise as it approaches filing, approval and commercial launch. The Chief Financial Officer will have primary responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities of the company, which includes overall responsibility for finance, investor relations, accounting, treasury, tax, foreign exchange, forecasting and strategic planning. In addition to providing oversight of the company’s financial operations, it will be particularly important for the CFO to lend a strategic perspective to financial planning, fund raising, business development, investor relations, commercial planning, and potential M&A by leveraging strong Wall Street and financing experience. Today, Aurinia is a foreign filer with the SEC, though due to tremendous growth will no longer be eligible to do so. Therefore, in addition to solid corporate development and commercial experience, cross-border/international experience is critical in this role. Areas of specific responsibility include the following:

  • Serve as a strategic partner and financial advisor to the Chief Executive Officer, the Board of Directors, and members of the senior management team to help shape the overall direction for the company.
  • Strengthen the company’s relationship with Wall Street financial institutions, investors (IR), and the financial community, as well as lead future financing efforts.
  • Contribute significantly to the company’s growth by lending financial perspective to the evaluation of key strategic partnerships and guiding business development, financing, commercial planning, and strategic options. Play a leading role in initiating, advising, negotiating, valuing and critiquing all financial arrangements the company might consider such as equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, licensing agreements, joint ventures and strategic alliances. This position will also be responsible for providing analysis and short and long-term forecasting, including multi-year outlooks based on alternative scenarios.
  • Oversee the company’s overall financial plans, policies and accounting practices, including treasury, budgeting, consolidation, audit, tax, insurance, accounting and other financial functions as well as the IR function for the company, as required, as well as assuring compliance with all GAAP and applicable, corresponding international requirements.
  • Lead the budgeting process in order to achieve effective resource allocation and efficient and effective operations.
  • Provide oversight of financial operations, including review of financial statements (income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements), and the reporting of operational results to management, the Board of Directors and investors.
  • Effectively represent the company both internally and externally to the investor and business communities, including the Board of Directors, investors, partners, auditors, regulators and advisors.
  • Attract, retain and inspire a strong finance and accounting team, and provide leadership and oversight in order to optimize their efforts. Mentor the finance and accounting staff to build skills and expertise.

Qualifications

The successful candidate will be a strategic, broadly experienced (i.e. investor relations, financial planning & analysis, accounting, SEC filing, etc…) and business-minded financial executive with entrepreneurial life sciences company experience, preferably in a mid-sized to large biotechnology company.

  • Proven experience with fundraising, transaction structuring and negotiation including international public equity and debt financings, M&A, licensing agreements and joint ventures (in biotech preferred, but not required).
  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Ability to operate effectively within an entrepreneurial company environment and become rapidly conversant with the company’s products and serve as company spokesperson as required.
  • Strong written and oral communication and influence skills, with the ability to build relationships, inspire confidence and work successfully with varied audiences (Wall Street analysts, financial institutions, industry partners, Board of Directors, management and employees).
  • Strong reputation as high value financial executive with both private and public company investors as well as with audit firms.
  • Of particular importance is demonstrated successful financing experience balanced with oversight of financial operations including accounting, tax, treasury, budgeting and financial reporting.
  • Proven financial leadership experience, preferably with a mid-sized to large life sciences company, or with a healthcare investment bank. Also, an outstanding record of accomplishment, including demonstrated vision, and strategic and financial management skills.
  • Entrepreneurial, hands-on self-starter with strong analytical skills and proven ability to work effectively with a CEO as a strategic partner in a small company setting. Strong problem solving and creative skills and the ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions based on accurate and timely analyses.
  • Strong business acumen combined with unquestionable integrity, dependability and ethics.
  • Excellent external networking, relationship and presentation skills and strong executive presence.
  • Outstanding strategic building skills are critical.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with a commitment to nurturing and developing people.
  • Team builder and player who leads by example and employs expertise and influence to encourage collaboration across departments, levels and groups to achieve shared objectives.
  • Frequent travel to the US will be required.

EDUCATION: 

An undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline is required. An MBA or other graduate degree would be desirable. Knowledge of the pharmaceutical and/or biopharmaceutical/biotech industry ideal. A CPA would be desirable, but not required.

COMPENSATION: 

A significant compensation package will be offered to attract the most qualified candidates. This is a permanent full-time position. Compensation range is $500,000 to $565,000 with a $135,000 sign on bonus. Remuneration is reflected in CAD. Health/Dental/Vision/Life Insurance packages available and included in the compensation package.

Additional Information

All candidate information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

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