Head of Intellectual Property

Cambridge, MA
Competitive Salary, bonus and benefits package available
Nov 29, 2018
Administration, General
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

This is an outstanding opportunity to join a fast-paced company leveraging the previously untapped biology of the gut-body network to develop a new class of therapies that could transform the treatment of many major diseases, potentially providing profound benefits to patients and society. Evelo Biosciences is pioneering the development of therapies designed to act on the gut-body network – monoclonal microbials. Monoclonal microbials use naturally evolved pharmacology to work in the gut for effects throughout the body and comprise an entirely new class of effective, convenient and safe medicines to address the unmet needs of huge numbers of patients with serious diseases. As a member of the Evelo team, you will play a vital role in creating this new modality of medicine.

If you are interested in joining an organization where your input matters, we are seeking a Head of Intellectual Property who will have a direct and significant impact on how we build, operate, and manage our intellectual property function. The Head of Intellectual Property will have the primary responsibility for developing and implementing legal IP strategies in support of business objectives to realize the full potential of Evelo’s platform technology and development candidates. The ideal candidate will enjoy rolling up their sleeves as much as setting the strategic direction. This is an opportunity to build a significant and exciting patent estate which will be personally and professionally rewarding. The Head of Intellectual Property will report to the General Counsel and lead the build out of a team to support the work. 

Primary responsibilities:

  • Counseling:
    • Participate in shaping the company’s IP strategy, processes, policies and procedures
    • Counsel the company on patentability, freedom to operate, non-infringement and invalidity matters consistent with the company’s IP strategy
    • Prepare for and/or conduct diligence on company and third-party IP assets, including competitive intelligence assessments
    • Creating and support a culture of innovation, including by educating employees on the inventive process, documenting inventions, and trade secrets
  • Procurement:
    • Work closely with scientists and scientific leadership to identify new IP and/or technical/scientific issues potentially affecting IP
    • Prepare and prosecute patent applications to provide US and international coverage of company innovations, with little or no supervision
    • Work with and manage outside counsel for IP prosecution and counseling
  • Transactions:
    • Perform diligence on potentially in-licensed IP and support out-licensing diligence
    • Participate in IP transactional work, including setting and complying with agreement obligations related to IP
    • Analyze patent related agreements and support contract drafting
  • Individual projects and duties as required
  • Building a team


  • At least 10 years of experience drafting and prosecuting patent applications in the US and internationally in a role at a law firm and a company (life sciences company experience preferred), including patent portfolio strategy and management
  • Registered to practice at the USPTO
  • Admitted to practice in at least one state and eligible to practice law in Massachusetts as in-house counsel
  • Deep knowledge of and experience with patent and trade secret laws, particularly in the field of biotechnology
  • Can operate independently with scientists and business leaders to create an intellectual property portfolio aligned with the strategy of the company

Desirable skills:

  • An advanced degree or significant experience in a relevant scientific discipline, particularly microbiology, biochemistry, and/or computational genetics
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • An emotionally intelligent, confident and persuasive person with project or other leadership experience
  • Creativity during the patenting process and strong problem-solving capabilities
  • Flexibility, strong organization skills, attention to detail and ability to prioritize
  • In-house experience (or at least a desire to work in a fast-paced business environment)
  • Experience with patent licensing, litigation, opinion work and diligence
  • Works collaboratively with outside counsel, business partners and co-workers
  • Can work independently and/or as part of a team depending on the situation
  • Delivers strong business results consistent with business and IP strategy
  • Will adapt and grow professional skills to serve the needs of the business
  • Can travel as required