Head of IP

Location United States of America
Job type: Permanent
Job ref: SD-HIP-WA
Published: about 1 month ago
Expiry date: 12 Dec 2024 23:59

Senior/Director of IP Strategy- Vaccine Company

Job ref: SD-IP-WA

Type: Full Time Permanent

Salary: $Strong salary, bonus, equity and supporting package.

We are a privately held, well-funded, clinical-stage Biotechnology company with a revolutionary technology in producing and delivering biologics in humans. Pioneering innovation in the biologics space, we are developing a diverse platform for various therapeutics including proteins, antibodies, peptides, cytokines, and vaccine allergens, targeting disease indications ranging from infectious to metabolic diseases. The company boasts of innovative leadership, strong academic and industry partnerships and a collaborative culture.

We are currently seeking an experienced IP strategist, with either a patent litigation or patent prosecution background, to join our dynamic and collaborative team to build and lead the intellectual property function within the legal department. This is an opportunity to participate and make a positive difference in a growing, fast-paced clinical stage company focused on patients. The ideal candidate for this position will have experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and in advising business stakeholders on intellectual property issues at all levels of an organization. This position is both a highly strategic role and one focused on execution, so is a great mix for someone who wants to be both a strategist and a “doer”.

Role and Responsibilities:

The major tasks for this position are as follows:

  • Responsible for managing all IP matters within the company whether it be working with the R&D team in identifying new inventions, developing processes to identify and protect our IP, providing freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity analyses, patent drafting and prosecution or assisting the legal team in IP transactions and due diligence.

  • Managing outside counsel, particularly for patent prosecution and review matters

  • Establishing legal review processes that thoughtfully balance speed of execution with review quality and assertive defense of company’s interests.

  • As the Legal team within the company scales, the Director of IP may also be involved in some capacity with the following:

  • Clinical trial support: Company will be initiating clinical trials which will require significant contracting support (working in part with outside counsel)

  • Internal processes: Company’s current internal controls are ‘right-sized’ for its current stage of development, but will require significant deepening and additional rigor as the company grows to keep pace with developments in the business

  • Patent prosecution oversight: We possesses a large and growing portfolio of issued and pending patents that will require a strategic mindset to manage effectively (working with outside patent counsel and company scientists); as therapeutic candidates move into the clinic additional patent filings will be necessary, for which a global strategy has not yet been fully developed

  • In-licensing: while most of our intellectual property is internally generated, in key areas the company has opted to in-license certain technologies developed in academia (this aspect of the role is expected to decline in importance over time)

  • Research collaborations: We regularly conduct collaborative research with leading researchers at universities around the world, and the underlying agreements require thoughtful and consistent application of our contracting guidelines to avoid undue IP entanglements

  • Commercial out-licenses: We expect to complete one to three commercial out-licensing transactions within the next 12 months

  • Grant compliance: Our initial research programs have generated significant funding support from non-profit and government research funding organizations, a trend that is expected to continue; these process periodically require modest legal review for IP and compliance topics

Education and Experience:

  • Minimum of 10 years' experience in biotechnology intellectual property. Preferably prior law firm experience with at least 7 years of hands-on experience either prosecuting patents or directing patent litigation (or a mix of both)

  • Experience with leading the global IP strategy for therapeutics through discovery, research and development.

  • In-house experience preferred but not required

  • A law degree (JD) with a current good standing admission to at least one US state bar

  • Technical background in life sciences such as biochemistry, molecular biology, or other area relevant to biopharmaceutical IP practice would be preferred


  • Knowledge of common biotechnology licensing/collaboration structures and typical “market” contract terms

  • Deep experience building and evolving nimble but evolving processes in a fast-changing business environment to ensure that as the organization scales, the quality of legal review does not slow down or suffer in quality

  • Ability to run a tight process (e.g. IPO, license negotiations, patent portfolio, etc.) to achieve organizational timeline and budget goals

  • Clear and concise prose

  • Ability to establish clear frameworks for decision-making and deepen institutional awareness of legal concepts among non-lawyers

  • High integrity and ethics; strong sense of character sufficient to ‘push back’ when appropriate and act as a ‘conscience of the company’