Director, Intellectual Property & Contracts

Job Overview
The newly created role of Director of Intellectual Property & Contracts will be responsible, in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, for developing and protecting intellectual property in support of Ikena’s pipeline and corporate goals. As needed, the successful candidate will lead the drafting and negotiation of a wide variety of key business contracts. This individual will report to the VP, Business Development & Corporate Strategy. We are seeking a candidate that is versatile and enjoys working in an entrepreneurial environment. This is an exciting opportunity to become an integral component of the business development/corporate strategy/alliance management team while contributing to the build of a leading oncology biotechnology company.


  • Partners with internal stakeholders, including scientists, clinicians, and program teams, to identify and evaluate new inventions
  • Devise and implement IP strategies for pipeline programs
  • Supervises and directs outside patent counsel in patent preparation and prosecution
  • Manages existing patent portfolios (and other types of IP such as trademarks) and monitors competitive intellectual property
  • Reviews intellectual property aspects of technical manuscripts, posters, and other materials intended for publication
  • Conducts basic prior art searches and performs IP due diligence analysis
  • Collaborates with business development team to support the company’s business and (both in- and out-) licensing activities
  • Drafts, reviews and leads (or manages outside counsel when relevant) the negotiation of key business contracts, including research collaborations, MSAs, CTAs, manufacturing and consulting agreements
  • Assists with developing company-wide IP and contract management policies and procedures


  • J.D. with advanced life science degree (MS or PhD) preferred, admitted to practice before US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and a state bar
  • Non-J.D. candidates who are registered USPTO patent agents will be considered, especially with a life science degree (BSc, MS or PhD)
  • 5+ years of experience in-house (industry or academic partnering office), or in a law firm
  • Prior work in oncology a plus
  • Understanding of the interrelationship between the legal, scientific and business aspects of intellectual property and the use of IP to further the company’s business goals
  • Strong interpersonal, collaboration, organizational and communication skills
  • Comfortable navigating complexity and ambiguity in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to manage multiple complex projects simultaneously
  • Must be a team player and able to earn the trust, credibility and respect of colleagues across multiple functions
  • Strong work ethic and high level of energy, focus, and passion

Application Form

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