Vice President, Intellectual Property

South San Francisco, CA
Oct 02, 2021
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time


About Global Blood Therapeutics:

Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of life-changing treatments that provide hope to underserved patient communities. Founded in 2011, GBT is delivering on its goal to transform the treatment and care of sickle cell disease (SCD), a lifelong, devastating inherited blood disorder.

In the United States, GBT has introduced Oxbryta® (voxelotor) tablets, the first U.S. FDA-approved treatment that directly inhibits sickle hemoglobin polymerization, an underlying cause of SCD.  The European Medicines Agency has accepted for review GBT's Marketing Authorization Application seeking marketing authorization of Oxbryta in Europe to treat hemolytic anemia in SCD patients ages 12 years and older. GBT is also seeking regulatory approval to expand the potential use of Oxbryta in the U.S. with children with SCD age 4 to 11 years.

GBT is advancing its SCD pipeline with inclacumab, a P-selectin inhibitor in development to address pain crises associated with SCD, and GBT021601, the company's next-generation hemoglobin S polymerization inhibitor. GBT's drug discovery teams are working on new targets for the next wave of SCD treatments.

To learn more, please visit and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Position Summary:

Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) seeks an entrepreneurial, motivated and experienced intellectual property (IP) counsel to play a primary role with the company's strategic IP efforts worldwide, in support of an extensive commercial product IP portfolio as well as multiple product candidates in the clinic and in pre-clinical research. Reporting to the Chief Legal Officer, this senior attorney will support GBT's business and strategic objectives in connection with IP portfolio management, with oversight responsibility for patent and trademark filing, prosecution and maintenance. This position will manage the in-house IP team, which includes a senior patent agent and an intellectual property administrator.  This position will manage multiple outside counsel, will serve as lead internal counsel in connection with any IP-related litigation, and will provide significant input to corporate development activities and transactions. 

Additionally, the candidate will actively lead or contribute to legal projects, issues and priorities as identified from time to time by the Chief Legal Officer, and will interact and collaborate frequently with Legal, Compliance and other colleagues worldwide, including to share ideas and best practices.

The candidate will have a broad-based knowledge of IP laws and regulations governing biopharmaceutical companies, gained in other biopharmaceutical company/ies or on the IP team of a leading law firm.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serving as lead attorney and strategic legal business partner in identifying and navigating patent and trademark opportunities and risks worldwide for GBT's business, strategies, programs and operations
  • Counseling key stakeholders in protecting and defending IP rights worldwide, including the Chief Legal Officer, other senior management and the board of directors, with particular attention to management of the IP portfolio for GBT's commercial product Oxbryta® (voxelotor), as well as clinical and early stage research programs
  • Providing broad-based strategic and portfolio advice, with demonstrated leadership skills and a vision of success tied to larger organizational goals
  • Proactively counseling all levels of the organization on IP matters, ranging from broad strategic objectives to day-to-day collaboration with and input to GBT's research, development, manufacturing and commercial groups and teams worldwide
  • Collaborating with and managing in-house and outside counsel on IP-related proceedings, challenges, disputes and litigation
  • Overseeing and managing GBT's in-house IP team and outside counsel in drafting, prosecution and maintenance of GBT's applications, patents and trademarks. Able to provide hands-on direction and input, and to draft/review a wide variety of work product. Able to recommend and implement changes as needed over time to IP-related infrastructure and staffing as GBT continues to scale, to maintain good alignment between GBT's needs, priorities and resources and the structure of GBT's internal and external IP staffing and resources
  • Managing the in-house IP team, outside counsel, and IP related budgets, forecasting and resources
  • Able to coach, mentor and develop team members, and proactive in sharing knowledge and collaborating with teams and stakeholders
  • Conducting and enhancing GBT's IP-related processes and protections, including portfolio  reviews and long-range planning, patent review committee, invention disclosures, and pre- publication review
  • Drafting, review and negotiation of IP-related contract provisions in standard contracts master service agreements and research collaboration agreements
  • Driving IP due diligence, technology assessments and FTO analyses in potential strategic transactions (including M&A, corporate development and financing), as well as supervising outside counsel in the same
  • Monitoring changes and developments in the local legal, IP and related regulatory environment, keep stakeholders apprised of significant developments and trends

Required Attributes and Competencies:

  • Skilled at integrating legal advice with business acumen and sound judgment
  • Able to serve as a strong business partner, collaborator and project manager
  • Strong technical/analytical skills, combined with a practical, business-oriented approach to identifying and solving legal, business and IP problems
  • Advanced prioritization and project management skills in order to maintain a high level of productivity and innovation, to complete work on-time and on-budget
  • Integrity, accuracy, and attention to detail
  • Self-motivated, assertive, and self-confident with the ability to act with urgency and passion
  • Skilled at advising senior management
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to strategically educate and support fellow employees
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, suitable for all levels of the organization
  • Skilled at managing and working with outside counsel and appropriately assessing when consultation with outside counsel is appropriate
  • Maintain strong working knowledge of applicable laws, regulations and trends
  • Entrepreneurial, enjoys working in an international, fast-paced, fluid, small-company environment
  • Willingness to work collaboratively by incorporating diverse perspectives and appropriately managing relationships
  • Resourceful, creative, enthusiastic, and results-oriented


  • Strong academic credentials from reputable institutions
  • JD and member of patent bar required
  • Minimum of 17 years of relevant experience in pharmaceutical patenting, including some in-house experience
  • 8+ years managing IP personnel and outside counsel
  • Broad-based knowledge of pharmaceutical IP law and strategy
  • Hatch-Waxman litigation experience preferred
  • IP licensing experience preferred


The position is not expected to require significant travel

Fit with GBT culture:

  • Ability to build strong relationships with co-workers of various backgrounds and expertise
  • Ability to function at a high level in a team setting whether leading the group or acting as an individual contributor
  • Ability to listen, ask questions and self-reflect to embrace other perspectives and foster personal growth
  • Ability to successfully communicate in multicultural teams
  • Excitement about the vision and mission of GBT
  • Courage to speak up, and to self-reflect to develop self and others.
  • Flexibility
  • Integrity

NOTE:  This position summary is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

The Company complies with all laws respecting equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants with regard to any protected characteristic as defined by federal, state, and local law.  This position requires you to work onsite at the Company's facilities.  The Company requires all employees working in its facilities (including attending in-person meetings and events) to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 (except as required by applicable law).  Therefore, this position requires you to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for a disability/medical condition or sincerely-held religious belief, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.  The Company considers you fully vaccinated once 14 days have passed since you received either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. This position requires you to maintain a fully-vaccinated status against COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations required by applicable law. The vaccine must have been FDA approved, have emergency use authorization from the FDA, or, for persons fully vaccinated outside of the U.S., be listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.