Kezar Life Sciences (NASDAQ: KZR), a clinical-stage life sciences company located in South San Francisco, is seeking a Corporate Counsel. The Corporate Counsel will be instrumental in advancing Kezar’s drug candidates through early and late-stage clinical development in various oncology and autoimmune indications. The Corporate Counsel will report to the Vice President, Legal Affairs and will provide legal support in areas such as drafting and negotiating a wide variety of contracts, managing the workflow of the contracting process, supporting research and development, diligence and licensing, and assisting with SEC reporting and intellectual property matters. The ideal candidate will be looking to build on existing strengths, in one or more of these areas, to quickly develop a broad range of legal and business expertise to support a growing biotechnology company.
Kezar Life Sciences is focused on small molecule drug discovery and development to target autoimmune and inflammatory disorders and cancer. Kezar’s product candidate, KZR-616, a selective inhibitor of the immunoproteasome, is being evaluated in multiple Phase 2 clinical trials studying autoimmune diseases. Kezar’s product candidate, KZR-261, targeting the protein secretion pathway and the Sec61 translocon, is entering Phase 1 clinical trials in several oncology indications in 2021. This position provides an exciting opportunity for major scientific and strategic roles in the research and development of novel therapies for serious diseases.
- Collaborate with members of the legal and clinical operations teams to manage and negotiate clinical trial agreements and vendor contracts for early and late-stage clinical trials of the company’s oncology and autoimmune drug candidates.
- Review, draft and negotiate a wide range of agreements, including: clinical trial agreements; master service agreements; manufacturing agreements; consulting and confidentiality agreements; licensing and research collaborations; and other strategic agreements.
- Manage contracts workflow and prioritization in line with the company’s objectives.
- Serve as internal point of contact for document management and third-party diligence activities.
- Provide support for intellectual property matters as needed.
- Work closely with research and manufacturing groups to advance the clinical development of next-generation oncology drug products.
- Negotiate research agreements with academic investigators and institutions.
- Assist with the preparation and filing of SEC documents, including current and periodic reports, proxy statements, registration statements and other securities-law filings.
- Provide a wide range of general corporate legal services to in-house clients. Work collaboratively with internal clients by providing clear, practical and timely legal advice.
- Advise on the interpretation of legal documents in a manner that provides accurate guidance and practical advice while properly managing risk to the organization.
- Keep informed of new laws, regulations, and industry trends affecting the organization.
- Assist with development of policies and employee training as needed.
- Interact with external counsel, advisors, external vendors and business partners.
- Work across all company departments to meet business objectives.
- J.D. from a nationally recognized law school and member of a state bar (California preferred).
- At least 3 to 5 years of legal experience (large law firm and/or in-house experience) with exposure to contracts, licensing and/or intellectual property.
- Personal integrity and ethics in business conduct.
Thrive in a fast-paced environment while remaining proactive, resourceful, flexible and efficient, and maintaining high quality and ethical standards. Excellent analytical and contract interpretation skills, and an ability to communicate complex issues in a simple way. Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to develop relationships with key stakeholders, good conflict management and negotiation skills, and the ability to analyze complex issues to develop practical solutions and best outcomes.
- Demonstrated experience drafting and negotiating contracts, with an emphasis on understanding life sciences transactions and associated intellectual property issues.
- Well-organized, responsive and hardworking, with the capacity to handle a variety of complex matters and ability to manage projects under deadline pressure.
- Experience working as in-house or external counsel in the biotechnology industry; bachelor/graduate degree in the biological sciences; and/or excellent academic credentials in intellectual property and contracts law.
- Experience with securities, financing and/or patent prosecution is a plus but not required.
- Sound business judgment and strategic thinking, with the ability to define business tradeoffs, generate creative solutions and anticipate the impact of decisions.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Ability to form quality working relationships with other employees and partners.
- Willing to accept full ownership of work product and deliver the highest quality results.
- Flexibility working on a variety of legal matters to understand and advise across company functions, effectively present ideas and contribute to decision making.
- Passionate about advancing scientific innovation and autoimmune/cancer therapies for patients.