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Senior Counsel, Patents and Research

Administration | San Carlos, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Company Overview

ChemoCentryx is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer, primarily focused on orphan and rare diseases. ChemoCentryx balances a passion for science with the deep-seated belief that patients suffering from serious diseases deserve more than incremental improvements to the length and quality of their lives.

As a clinical-stage company with a broad portfolio in multiple therapeutic areas, ChemoCentryx pushes beyond “good enough” and strives for a totally new way of healing.

Position Overview

Our vision for the Senior Counsel is an attorney who is a fully integrated partner for the research organization, leading all aspects of the intellectual property portfolio and providing legal support and advice for the Research and Development, Clinical, Supply and Quality functions. This individual should embody our organization’s aptitude for innovation and discovery and believes that together we can do more than "good enough" for patients.

 As a rapidly commercializing company with our first product application recently accepted by the FDA, we are building a legal department with the ability to scale to meet the needs of our growing company. This role—reporting to the Vice President, Head of Legal and Compliance and working closely with our Chief Business Officer—will manage the company’s intellectual property portfolio and support the research and development functions of our company and will have opportunities to gain new skills as our company continues to grow. This role would be based out of the company’s newly designed office in San Carlos, CA.



  • Independently lead all aspects of build, maintenance and defense of patent portfolios
  • Build and implement global intellectual property portfolio strategies, working closely with the Chief Business Officer
  • Supervise outside counsel in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications
  • Draft agreements and review of draft publications
  • Assist in conducting due diligence for business development opportunities
  • Fully integrate with the research and development functions of the company to actively counsel the company’s scientific research program, identify new inventions, and provide well-reasoned legal advice to Research and Development, Clinical, Supply and Quality functions to protect the company’s interests and achieve business objectives over the extended drug development life cycle.
  • Evaluate and monitor patent portfolios of third parties
  • Develop and communicate IP guidance to partners across the business, including within R&D, Business Development, commercial and legal
  • Review and analyze license agreements and other contracts
  • Provide IP and technical analysis in support of patent litigation
  • Regularly advise C-level executives regarding all intellectual property matters


Minimum Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of patent preparation and prosecution experience in the Biotech or Pharmaceutical industry
  • Advanced degree in Life Sciences
  • Currently working at top law firm or in-house with a biotech or pharmaceutical industry company
  • Admitted to practice law in the US (any State bar)
  • Admitted to practice before the USPTO
  • Strong team player
  • Strong core small molecule/large molecule patent prosecution skills and ability to independently lead patent dockets and portfolios in multiple markets and jurisdictions
  • Conduct other legal research as needed

Preferred Requirements

  • Ph.D. or equivalent, and/or several years of laboratory experience in relevant scientific area, chemistry, biology/biochemistry preferred
  • Mix of law firm and in-house experience preferred
  • First-hand experience of IP-related litigation
  • Prior experience working on clinical trial agreements or advising quality or clinical personnel
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Ability to analyze and interpret complex legislation and regulations
  • Team player capable of leading and participating within cross-functional project teams to meet key milestones under tight timelines and stressful conditions
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation styles to interact with diverse audiences, including outside attorneys, senior management, and business associates
  • Strong work ethic with the initiative to work independently
  • High level of integrity supported by sound judgement and ethics
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Office applications
  • Detail oriented with a high level of accuracy in their work
  • Ability to be an enterprise leader for the organization