A subsidiary of Ncardia, Cellistic™ specializes in process development and GMP manufacture of cell therapies based on human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. Its focus and expertise in iPSC reprogramming, differentiation, and expansion protocol development positions the business to be the partner of choice for innovative cell therapy developers to commercialize novel advanced therapies. Leveraging more than a decade of Ncardia’s scientific and technical knowledge and experience, Cellistic possesses unique capabilities for the design and optimization of proprietary manufacturing platforms for iPSC-based cells that deliver quality products at scale.
Ncardia and Cellistic are continuing a journey of rapid growth and expansion delivering world class iPSC-based solutions to therapeutic developers. Given the strength of its early innovations, fundraising successes and industry partnerships, Cellistic already enjoys a highly active and engaged IP culture and is now seeking to appoint a dedicated senior IP professional to become the company’s Head of IP.
This position requires an exceptional IP leader with a pragmatic, business-oriented, hands-on approach, as well as the ability to make complex decisions, support senior management in the same, and provide business-focused IP advice and counselling.
The key responsibilities will include the following:
- Establish and align IP strategies and execution plans on all matters to enable the company to (i) establish fundamental intellectual property assets and (ii) extract appropriate value therefrom (including patent prosecution, enforcement, opposition, litigation, licensing and agreement, trade secrets, and trademarks) in close collaboration with the CTO;
- Conduct directly or oversee the performance of outside counsel on freedom-to-operate, render IP opinions on design-around, validity, non-infringement and patent avoidance of third-party patents;
- Support and help direct R&D roadmap, navigate complex IP competitive landscape issues with the aim to protect the company’s IP asset for technology licensing purposes;
- Monitor the company’s R&D progress, technology and conduct innovation capture / invention harvesting;
- Conduct directly or oversee the performance of outside counsel on patent drafting and prosecution, as well as post-grant challenges;
- Manage outside counsel and ensure cost-efficient and high-quality patent and trademark prosecution and handling of patent office proceedings;
- Provide support and advice on IP-related contractual matters in close collaboration with the legal function, including without limitation supporting licensing, M&A, and commercial transactions;
- Establish IP and invention disclosure policies and processes across the company, roll-out and educate relevant teams about such processes;
- Coordinate and manage interactions with the company’s business partners and future licensees, provide IP specific input to support legal agreement negotiation as part of business development transactions;
- Counsel key technical and business personnel, including the board of directors, on IP portfolio development and strategies, adversarial proceedings, competitive IP and commercial activities, and licensing opportunities;
- Review proposed research papers and other publications for any impact on existing patent estate;
- Manage IP due diligence to support business development transactions and company financings;
- Lead and manage the IP department, including budget responsibility.
The successful candidate will ideally possess the following qualifications, experience, and attributes:
- Master in Life Sciences / Biotech (with demonstrated experience in molecular and cell biology), but PhD is preferred (as is experience in the stem cell/cell-therapy area);
- Qualified European Patent Attorney;
- Excellent practical IP knowledge of cell therapy, genomic engineering or immunology.
- Possess 5 to 10 years of working experience in an IP-oriented environment (i.e. Patent law firms or in-house IP departments);
- Be strategic and able to “see the big picture” balanced with the ability to be hands-on where necessary;
- Flexible, adaptable, resourceful, self-motivated with a “can-do” attitude;
- Enthusiastic and able to enthuse others;
- Ability to relate and build relationships at all levels within the company from the scientists to commercial leaders and senior management;
- Pragmatic and proactive approach to solving problems and addressing issues;
- Excited by the prospects of working in a start-up environment where processes and infrastructures are to be established;
- Strong organizational skills and managerial skills.