Chief Operating Officer - ONL Therapeutics - Ann Arbor

ONL Therapeutics, an Ann Arbor-based biopharmaceutical company, seeks a COO.

About Us

This biopharmaceutical company, in the ophthalmology space, is about to start its First-In-Human clinical trials (FDA Phase I) for the primary compound of its promising portfolio of drugs under development, targeting ocular indications (retinal detachment, glaucoma, AMD, etc.)  

The company, based in Ann Arbor, MI, is expanding its executive team and is looking for a COO to both partner with the CEO and lead key business and operation functions, enabling the ONL team to execute projects undertaken to fulfill the company strategic goals. 

The company is focused on and committed to bringing its novel therapies to patients as soon as possible.

Essential Functions & Responsibilities

  • Partner with CEO, Board of Directors, and management team in the development of corporate strategy and determination of strategic goals,
  • Assess and prioritize projects based on their anticipated contribution to the fulfilment of the company’s strategic goals, and assist project teams in their preparation of related schedules and budgets, 
  • Ensure internal systems (workflow, procedures and software) enable project and management teams to measure project progress and completion within the associated budgetary resources and time constraints, 
  • Oversee the financial planning and control, and report to CEO and Board; also oversee Human Resources, IT, legal and facility management functions, 
  • Assist the CEO in fund raising and strategic partnership development.  

Responsibilities and Goals 

A - Work closely with CEO and company leadership on strategic planning

  1. Determine long and short term company strategic goals aligned with its mission
  2. Develop and model strategies to achieve these goals
  3. Design and implement action plans reflecting the adopted strategies 

B - Ensure systems support company, activities and project management

  1. Review existing processes and systems to plan and control company activities/ projects and the resources allocated to them (including documentation standards, retention and access)
  2. Identify and prioritize planning & control gaps, and establish/ modify plan to remedy them, and optimize the use of resources to support the achievement of the company strategic goals
  3. Ensure activities and results/ outcome are documented in a systematic, complete, efficient and secure way
  4. Determine plan costs and implement after executive approval 

C - Plan and control time, costs and specific funding of company activities and projects  

  1. Examine with team how the completion of planned projects will contribute to the company’s strategic goals, and establish priorities among them
  2. Work with project managers to prepare project schedules and ensure internal approval processes are complete. Prepare regular updates for internal and external stakeholders
  3. Work with team to prepare company annual budget
  4. Ensure timely costs  tracking both at the project and company levels (single entry)
  5. Review operational progress regularly with the team
  6. Assist CEO and internal teams in adjusting goals and adjusting schedule as warranted by outcome of studies and trials
  7. Track burn rate and runway length (and other KPI, as identified with CEO)   

D - Supervise the financial planning and control function 

  1. Ensure prompt validation of invoices from third parties, timely accounting entries with proper allocation (notably to grant-funded activities/ tasks), and timely payments
  2. Gather information to support grant payment, receipt, control and proper accounting allocation
  3. Manage treasury/ bank account
  4. Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual closings and ensure proper distribution of related reports
  5. Manage relationship with CPA/ Auditor    
  6. Participate in periodic report to the Board

E - Manage HR, IT, Legal and facility Management

  1. Oversee HR function including the management of PEO (Professional Employment Organization)
  2. Develop and lead the recruiting process and the on-boarding of new employees
  3. Develop and lead employee development process (incl. performance review)
  4. Assist CEO in the development and maintenance of the company cooperative culture
  5. Manage external vendors and internal staff to provide IT solutions (including retention and access to data)
  6. Develop and manage process for the development, review, execution and management of the company legal documents (including intellectual property filings and records) 
  7. Oversee company facilities including planning facility needs, lease negotiation, and facility operations

F - Assist CEO in fund raising and strategic partnership management

  1. Assist CEO in financial modeling of various strategic scenarios 
  2. Assist in maintenance of diligence room materials 
  3. Work with CEO in the development and management of investor relationships
  4. Coordinate the preparation, distribution, and return of legal documents, and collection of funds  
  5. Participate in conversations and negotiations with potential strategic partners, and partner with CEO in the management of said relationships. 

About You

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Managerial experience of early stage development companies in the bio-pharmaceutical space
  • Proven track record of building/ expanding high caliber and cooperative teams, bringing superior ability to assist project teams on scheduling and budgeting preparation and control
  • Domestic and international travels involved (less than 20%)

Other Influential Considerations

  • Familiarity with the Ophthalmology space
  • Experience in clinical drug development process
  • Familiarity with the FDA and other medical regulatory agencies


  • Salary, bonuses and stock options. Benefits include health, vision and dental insurance plans, 401(k), holidays and vacation.

ONL is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To Apply

  • Please send your resume to and please include the job's title in the "Subject" line of your email. Thank you!