Background

ADC Therapeutics is a clinical-stage oncology biotechnology company leading the development and commercialisation of next-generation antibody drug conjugates. The company employs over 300 people, with headquarters in Switzerland, R&D facilities in London, and Commercial Operations and Chemistry Manufacturing and Control based in California and New Jersey, USA.

Following the strength of its early innovations, fundraising successes, and cross-healthcare partnerships the company recognised it was at the critical ‘tipping-point’ of requiring an exceptional, dedicated senior patent specialist to become their new Head of Intellectual Property. The company has a highly active and engaged IP culture and the protection of a commercially orientated patent portfolio was critical to ADC Therapeutics’ continued successes in the field of innovative antibody oncology treatments. The company thus reached out to Adamson & Partners to support their search for the appointment of a dedicated Head of IP.

Criteria

The Head of Intellectual Property would assume chief responsibility for formulating and implementing global IP strategies, as well as the development of the patent portfolio, with a view to supporting ADC Therapeutics, particularly in future US litigation needs. Adamsons understood the successful appointee would need to be an exceptional IP leader with a pragmatic, hands-on approach, as well as the ability to make entrepreneurial decisions, and support senior management.

Intellectual Property Rights are critical to ADC Therapeutics’ business strategy. The pace of change in the biotech industry drives ever-increasing levels of innovation, and the parallel development of an IPR function is therefore critical in helping the company protect and monetise its intellectual assets. With that in mind, this position was created to coordinate and drive levels of proprietary innovation and commercial strategic growth.

Solution

After an initial briefing with the CEO, Vice Chairman & Executive Vice President, and Senior VP of R&D to thoroughly understand ADC Therapeutics’ current needs and future ambitions, we thoroughly consulted our extensive IP network and mapped and approached the market for potential candidates with the requisite technical backgrounds, commercial skill-set, and cultural fit. Our search included candidates from in-house departments with private practice experience, litigation support, exposure to the US, and thorough experience in building and maintaining the growth of a highly specialised patent portfolio. ADC Therapeutics was explicit about needing a candidate with an entrepreneurial outlook who would become a business partner to the company. We worked closely with FADC Therapeutics to identify, assess, and advise on candidates who would not just cover the technical and strategic prerequisites but who also possessed the capability and ambition to take ownership and drive ADC Therapeutics’ IP function to the next level.

Outcome 

After extensive market discussions, we produced a shortlist of candidates who most closely matched ADC Therapeutics’ preferred criteria, and more than met their expectations. The candidates came from diverse backgrounds, from large pharma multinationals to smaller biotech spin-outs and start-ups across the US, Europe, and the UK. Throughout the process, we liaised closely with ADC Therapeutics to give a comprehensive understanding of the search progress, and subsequently the candidate backgrounds, skill-sets, cultural fit, and motivations ahead of their own interview stages. The successful candidate was a multi-jurisdictional qualified Patent Attorney who brought over 20 years of industry life sciences IP advisory and leadership experience, and the dynamism and ambition to drive ADC Therapeutics’ patent portfolio successfully into the future. ADC Therapeutics was delighted with our expert advisory and efficiency throughout the search process and pleased to gain a Head of IP to match its current and future needs in such a short timeframe.

The successful candidate will be on-boarding in July 2021.

If you are looking to develop and grow your IP and Legal departments, we would be delighted to assist. Whether you are looking for your next career opportunity, help expanding your team, or assistance with mergers and acquisitions, contact us today for a confidential discussion.

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For more information, please contact

Milli Bouri

Partner