Client: Neurocrine Biosciences
REF: 23600

Neurocrine is a biopharmaceutical company which develops treatments for neurological and endocrine-related diseases and disorders. Founded in 1992, the company is headquartered in San Diego, California, and led by CEO Kevin Gorman. The company’s diverse portfolio includes FDA-approved treatments for tardive dyskinesia, chorea associated with Huntington’s disease, endometriosis and uterine fibroids, as well as a robust pipeline including multiple compounds in mid-to-late phase clinical development across its core therapeutic areas including, neurology, neuroendocrinology and neuropsychiatry.


Neurocrine is investing in establishing its operations in Basel, Switzerland in order to grow its European presence given the scale of the company’s success to date. Headquartered in San Diego, Neurocrine is looking to attract a Senior Principal, IP Counsel to help establish the IP function in its new offices in Basel. Working under the leadership of VP & Head of IP, the incoming Senior Principal, IP Counsel will be a part of Neurocrine’s global IP department and in charge of regional and global IP issues of several key company’s assets.

The successful candidate will deal with a broad range of IP matters, including but not limited to:

  • Providing clear and business-savvy legal advice and risk guidance to business partners, key stakeholders.
  • Developing high level intellectual property strategy, identification of inventions, and management of patent drafting and prosecution relating to small molecule drugs.
  • Providing legal advice to assigned business partners on a broad range of topics involving intellectual property.
  • Identifying opportunities for expanding the Company’s Intellectual property position and collaborating with members of various discovery, development and business groups within the Company.
  • Working and communicating with collaborators and other external strategic partners in connection with developing a global IP strategy.
  • Providing leadership, mentoring and coaching to attorneys, patent agents, paralegals, and/or support staff.
  • Managing patent and IP-related contentious matters, together with internal legal staff and outside counsel.
  • Implementing internal processes, procedures and training, centred on intellectual property identification and protection.
  • Working with the scientific team and technical leads to identify, evaluate and protect intellectual property arising from various R&D programs.
  • Drafting, reviewing and negotiating intellectual property provisions of manufacturing, process development, purchase, supply, license, and master service agreements.
  • Negotiating and supporting other technology transactions, such as commercial in-licenses, non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, testing agreements and other similar activities.


The appointed person will address a broad array of intellectual property matters to support the Company’s Swiss and European-based activities and programs. They shall work closely with other members of the Legal Department in the US and their clients to address intellectual property issues across multiple disciplines, including Commercial, Corporate Affairs, Research, Development, Clinical, Regulatory, Manufacturing, Medical Affairs, Business Development, and Alliance Management. This role will include counselling clients and assisting in the drafting and negotiating of complex life sciences agreements.

  • PhD in organic chemistry or allied chemical discipline preferred; Master’s degree in organic chemistry or allied chemical discipline required.
  • European Patent Attorney currently qualified to practice before the European Patent Office.
  • 5+ years of post-qualification practice as a European Patent Attorney in a well-regarded law firm and in-house pharmaceutical industry experience.
  • Exhibits ability to become company-wide advisor and emerging industry expert.
  • Demonstrated strategy development and implementation within areas of responsibility.
  • Possesses expert knowledge of own function and broad knowledge of multiple functions and impact on business.
  • Proven leadership skills and ability, including influencing across many levels of the organization.
  • Ability to effectively manage, mentor and train personnel and ability to motivate and influence personnel to achieve goals.
  • A broad range of patent-related legal expertise is required, including patent preparation, development and implementation of U.S., European and broad-based global prosecution strategies, IP due diligence, strategic counselling and management of contentious IP matters with a particular emphasis on small molecule therapies and other pharmaceutical subject matter.
  • Experience with managing small molecule pharmaceutical exclusivity related legal matters including brand-on-brand patent litigation strategies and the aspects of regulatory affairs related to market exclusivity.
  • Exceptional communication skills including fluency in English in conducting presentations, interpersonal interactions, written work and conflict resolution with an ability to effectively interact with Neurocrine team members at every level in the organization and across a wide range of scientific knowledge levels.
  • Experience with Orange Book and Patent Term Extension practice for the US and SPC is required.

If you would like to explore this opportunity further, please contact

Rene Chung

Partner & Practice Head - IP Licensing

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