Career Number: 538May21_KL2

Career Title: Medical Science Liaison (MSL) - East

DURECT (Nasdaq: DRRX) is seeking a field-based Medical Science Liaison (MSL) to join our high energy, growing, and innovative biopharmaceutical company.  If you're seeking a career where you can truly make a difference and help improve lives, you'll find it at DURECT.  The ideal candidate is entrepreneurial, articulate, can adapt to and implement change, and has a passion for building strategy, relationships and teams.  This individual will be an integral contributor to the development and shaping of the initial MSL team supporting DUR-928.  

DURECT is focusing its efforts on therapeutic areas with significant unmet need, including diseases with no approved treatments like alcohol-associated hepatitis (AH) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).  DUR-928 is DURECT’s lead product candidate, an endogenous sulfated oxysterol and an epigenetic regulator. Epigenetic regulators are compounds that regulate patterns of gene expression without modifying the DNA sequence. DUR-928 has demonstrated positive efficacy and safety in a Phase 2a clinical trial in alcohol-associated hepatitis (AH), via intravenous administration, and a Phase 2b trial in AH patients (AHFIRM) is currently underway.  Encouraging topline data were also observed in a Phase 1b trial in NASH via oral administration.

Reporting the VP of Strategy and Business Development, the MSL will function as a subject matter expert and engage thought leaders, health care professionals, and other stakeholders specializing in the delivery of hepatology, gastroenterology and acute-care hospital-based therapeutics in medical and scientific exchanges. These exchanges will be performed in a compliant fashion. Insights gathered and the information shared during these exchanges will be used to support and/or expand current clinical and scientific concepts including and related to disease state and DUR-928 awareness.  Furthermore, these exchanges will inform development and business strategies.  They may also ensure the safe and effective utilization of future approved DURECT product(s).  The MSL is responsible for cultivating and maintaining collaborative relationships with influential members of her/his loco-regional medical community to enable the conduct of these scientific exchanges. 

Support of DURECT research initiatives is another important MSL role.  MSLs will work cross-functionally with other members of the organization, corporate partners, and investigators to compliantly support corporate sponsored clinical trials, Real World Data generation, and investigator-sponsored studies. MSLs will also participate in and contribute to projects and initiatives that increase the value and productivity of the Medical Affairs team.  


Medical Science Liaison

  • Identify and engage with Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) and health care professionals (HCP) to provide disease state information and education on DUR-928’s mechanism of action (MOA), effectiveness, safety and value proposition
  • Build, maintain, and strengthen professional relationships with local/regional/national HCPs, KOLs, scientists, Principal Investigators (PI) through appropriate scientific exchange
  • Serve as a key clinical/scientific resource to these HCP specialists
  • Respond to complex and/or unsolicited off-label questions in scientific, fair-balanced, compliant manner
  • Develop strategies and tactics to effectively communicate complex scientific information
  • Maintain thorough and up-to-date knowledge of DUR-928 and the competitive landscape regarding clinical development, product data, and MOAs, and current trends and opinions
  • Identify competitor studies in the same therapeutic space
  • Develop and deliver clinical presentations and tactics (with or without HEOR counterpart) to various audiences at regional and/or local managed care organizations, optimally achieving formulary status and utilization
  • Identify and develop speakers and advocates for disease and DUR-928 education
  • Attend regional/national congresses and meetings and, as requested, provide medical and scientific booth support, and gather competitive intelligence at medical congresses
  • Identify and document potential physician objections, treatment algorithms, and payer objections that may help inform internal stakeholders about short-term tactics
  • Engage in supporting Phase IV clinical study opportunities, design and execution in an effort to generate valuable real-world evidence
  • Support medical education initiatives such as speaker development, advisory board support, and serve as a resource to review materials for medical accuracy
  • Adhere to and manage travel and local expenses to meet DURECT policies  


  • Oversee the implementation and maintenance of Medical Affairs policies and programs
  • Partner with DURECT Clinical Development and Commercial/Business Development teams on key strategy development and implementation
  • Provide medical expertise to Commercial and analytics teams to assist in the development and execution of compliant disease awareness and commercial activities
  • Support fellow field MSLs and in-house teams in their efforts to build and foster strategic partnerships with KOL, physicians, payer accounts, etc., in establishing DURECT as a leading specialty pharmaceutical company  



  • Doctoral degree in a relevant health-sciences filed (PharmD, MD, DO, or PhD) is required
  • Advanced nursing degree (BSN, MSN) with relevant clinical experience may be acceptable

Job Experience

  • 3+ years of relevant experience as a field-based MSL, or similar type field medical position; hepatology and/or gastroenterology experience strongly preferred
  • Experience in pre-commercial or startup company environments is a plus


  • Thorough grasp of the pharmaceutical industry, FDA requirements, and PhRMA code
  • Proven track record of success in opinion leader development, payer interface, and institution navigation
  • Proven track record of success in teamwork, cross-matrix management, and communication (written and verbal)
  • Proven track record of contributing to a highly effective team, with exceptional results
  • Demonstrated project management ability
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Must have a valid Driver’s license

Essential Job Functions & Working Conditions (ADA Requirements)

  • Ability to travel >50% air and auto
  • Ability to visually read and type
  • Position requires extensive computer and face-to-face communications.
  • Ability to walk, climb, stand, bend (neck and/or waist), kneel, reach, stoop, squat, twist (neck and/or waist), push, pull, and use of both hands and fingers for extended periods of time while performing tasks