Ionis Pharmaceuticals Employee Reviews

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horrible management, favoritism rules supreme
Research Associate (Current Employee) –  San Diego, CANovember 3, 2016
Management was ill prepared for many meetings, reviews, and general interactions.Every person in a senior position or with direct reports, with the exception of a very VERY small handful of employees, did not belong in that position because of lack of qualifications and inability to communicate to direct reports. Most of the people in higher positions were put there due to advanced degrees and have absolutely no training or knowledge of how to be a manager, work with direct reports, or run a group.

Promotions into "director/associate director" were not uncommon for someone with less than 5 years of industrial experience due to their ability to help the softball team do well. Favoritism was a very common occurrence in meetings, if your manager or director did not like you they did their best to make you out to be a scapegoat in weekly meetings. Any disagreement with your direct manager automatically assumed you were in the wrong. Logic and data to back up factual points were overlooked due to "buddy buddy" of directors and managers.

The environment was vicious at the research associate/scientist level as well. Due to the hostile feeling at the higher levels the junior staff was more than willing to push someone else under the bus if it had the slightest change of making them look good.

The hardest part of this job was walking in the door every morning, with the dread of what was to come. The routine testings that were performed were repetitive and required only a basic understanding so the actual lab work was easy enough. It was the politics and the very negative
  more... environment that made this job absolutely toxic.

If offered a position I would suggest turning and walking away, no amount of stock options/RSU's/health benefits are worth the stress and unhappiness that this company instills in its employees.

This company always seems to like it's turnover percentages. When I started working there every new employee seemed to be so excited that less than 3% turnover meant that this company was a great company and would treat you like family and you'd have a career forever. Currently it's around 6.6% turnover, the average in biotech is actually lower than 8.5% (which is the average in life sciences) so congratulations, our company is bragging about how we are at the industry standard for employee turnover. If that's not a huge red flag as to how this company is run nothing is. The only reason this number isn't much higher is because the people that are still around and not leaving is because of the "golden handcuffs" Due to the stock options being worth so much money, if you were to leave you would lose a lot of money in stocks that haven't yet vested. If I didn't have several mouths to feed that were depending on my salary, I would have left years ago
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Pros
Technologies within the lab are at the cutting edge, Stock options and RSU's used to be given quite a bit, Game room used to be pretty cool when it was allowed, Some of the junior staff talk about the same issues so having people to talk to
Cons
Management, poorly trained senior staff, favoritism, lack of objectivity when approached with data from someone not a part of the "clique", Toxic environment
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hard place to work
scientist (Former Employee) –  Carlsbad, CAJanuary 26, 2016
most people are super stressed out. lots of managers and directors. good scientist but the environment is super stressful.
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A challenging, motivating and rewarding work enviornment that is designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence!
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee) –  Carlsbad, CAMarch 4, 2015
At Isis, we are committed to creating and developing important new medicines. We believe in striving for excellence in this endeavor and that the future will be defined by outstanding people. We are committed to recruiting, developing, motivating and rewarding these outstanding employees. Our culture is designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence. We pride ourselves on our scientific rigor and maintain an intense, fast-paced, dynamic work environment. Our core principles include "commit to science and the scientific process"; "have a bias to act" and "have fun". We believe our low turnover, which averages 6% per year for both voluntary and involuntary compares favorably to the industry average of 16.6% and speaks to the positive environment we provide our employees. You are invited to visit our website, learn more, and decide if Isis may be for you: www.isispharm.com
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Excellent research team
Research Associate (Former Employee) –  San Diego, CADecember 4, 2013
I worked in the organosynthesis lab for one of the projects at Isis. It was a very rewarding experience that taught me all the hard work it takes to get a product from the research labs to the consumer.
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One of the worst jobs & bosses of my life
Senior Research Scientist (Former Employee) –  Carlsbad, CANovember 19, 2013
Poor & under qualified management, not helpful in helping you succeed. Poor culture: members of the group do not get along, vicious and unproductive work environment, HR and management do not handle it in an effective way.
Work long hours every week, not good work-life balance, not worth the money.
Management expects you to know how to solve every problem dependently with little mentor-ship, will fire you if you do not meet there expectations.
Pros
good pay, nice new building
Cons
little mentor-ship for personal growth, hostile working environment, high expectations
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Isis was like a family company biotec startup. I began working in the chemistry department to edit government submissions for new medical compounds.
CMC Editor (Former Employee) –  Carlsbad, CADecember 12, 2012
Isis' policy was to teach/train/promote each employee to her/his highest capability. My position was created from the need to claim the next corporate step of submitting an NDA for Isis' first drug. We all were on a steep learning curve learning exactly what the FDA required to permit a drug to go market. I was generally updating SOPs, managing required elements for the CMC (Chapter 7 - Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls. To follow the USA FDA submission I was also instrumental in a Canadian and British government submissions for the same compound.
Pros
reward checks in recionognition of exceptal effort. family parties at halloween, christmas, spring faire, flex time, excellent medical benefits.
Cons
problems were isis' periodic/unpredictable lay offs, when pre-clinical or clinic goals could not be met
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Good place
OLIGO CLERK (Former Employee) –  Carlsbad, CAOctober 11, 2012
The company already went through transition. Easy job. It has very good HR manager and as an employee, it feels like they take care of you
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Overall rating

3.1
Based on 8 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.3
Compensation/Benefits
3.6
Job Security/Advancement
2.6
Management
2.4
Culture
2.9

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