Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0119
Post Date 6/8/2018
Company Ionis
Title Director, Finance
Employment Type Full Time

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in the North San Diego County city of Carlsbad, was founded in 1989 to create advanced, novel medicines to treat diseases with an unmet medical need. We are the pioneer and leader in the discovery and development of antisense drugs. By exploiting various cutting-edge RNA targeting technologies, we are capable of specifically and efficiently targeting any gene of interest, including ones which are not targetable by small molecules or antibodies. We currently have three approved drugs, and a robust pipeline of over 30 drugs in various stages of clinical trials.

Ionis is a challenging, motivating and rewarding environment designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence. Our success is a direct result of our outstanding employees. We are interested in bringing together individuals with different skill sets into this creative environment to be part of a productive team. Join us and experience our unique culture while you develop and expand your career.


We are seeking a dynamic individual to join our Finance department that will contribute to the success of Ionis.  The Director of Finance will have overall responsibility for supporting the Development organization and will report to the VP of Finance. The Director of Finance works closely with various levels of management across the entire Development organization along with auditors and accounting personnel. The Director of Finance is expected to have a hands-on approach in all aspects of the job. The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker who is secure working in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment. Candidate must be capable of handling multiple tasks, and must possess excellent analytical, organizational and communication skills.  Additionally, he/she must be a proactive self-starter who takes ownership of projects and can collaborate cross-functionally on complex issues.

As Ionis grows its pipeline, the Director of Finance will be a key player in the planning, tracking and reporting of clinical trials and other related development projects including partner milestones. With global reach and a broad range of drug candidates in multiple therapeutic areas running complex multi-stage studies, the role of a dynamic, strategic finance leader is critical to the business’ success.

You’ll thrive in this position if you are:

  • A strong communicator—you have the demonstrated ability to successfully communicate and convey complex topics in a concise and effective manner to various levels of management.  
  • A master planner—you are skilled at juggling multiple priorities at one time and keeping track of deadlines without missing a step.
  • Adaptable—you are at ease in a fast-paced environment and you’re able to change direction rapidly when priorities and deadlines shift.
  • An Explorer—you are curious by nature and never hesitate to research and probe for answers.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead the effort to upgrade Ionis’ Clinical Trial forecasting processes and systems
  • In coordination with R&D leadership: Establish and maintain a pipeline resource model to inform management’s strategic long range financial plan
  • Lead a team of 2 or more analysts to provide financial support to the Development organization through financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting and analysis
  • Coordinate with various levels of management to gather, analyze, summarize, and prepare operating budgets and financial forecasts
  • Develop and maintains financial reporting through creation and maintenance of templates and reports
  • Improve reporting and analysis efficiency by advancing both systems and business processes
  • Hands-on preparation of reports and analyses in support of month-end, quarter-end and forecasting processes.
  • Conducts special studies to analyze complex financial issues and prepares recommendations to inform senior management
  • Interprets and applies corporate financial policies and accounting theory
  • Other duties as assigned

Personal Attributes Needed:

  • Goal orientated and self-motivated
  • Shows good initiative
  • Strong interpersonal skills: ability to work constructively within a team environment and with all levels of management
  • Strong communication skills (written, oral and presenting)
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills; willingness to accept responsibility for projects/processes
  • Comfortable “rolling up sleeves” and engaging in the details and day to day operations as needed
  • Tolerance for the ambiguity that comes with a high growth business transitioning to a sustainably profitable, multiproduct company
  • Comfortable in an interrogative environment; embraces collaboration and open debate to manage projects, solve problems and discuss challenging issues
  • Able to work efficiently and productively in an intense work environment


  • BS/BA in Accounting, Finance or related field
  • MBA and/or CPA strongly preferred
  • 10+ years in progressively responsible financial leadership roles, in life science and/or biotech companies
  • Strong understanding of Research and Development within the life sciences/biotech industry is essential
  • Working knowledge of GAAP


Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

Please visit our website,, for more information about Ionis and to apply for this position; reference requisition #18-0119


Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and all its subsidiaries are proud to be EEO employers.


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