Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the largest medical challenges of our time. Denali Therapeutics is an international biotechnology company dedicated to developing breakthrough therapies for neurodegenerative diseases through our deep commitment to degeneration biology and principles of translational medicine. Denali is founded on the collaboration of leading scientists, industry experts, and investors who share the vision that scientific discovery energetically applied to translational medicine is the key to discovering and delivering effective therapies to patients.


The Opportunity


The Vice President, Intellectual Property will oversee all aspects of Denali’s intellectual property, lead our IP Legal team in building and defending Denali’s IP portfolio, and help build Denali’s growing Legal team and strategy. The Vice President will report to the Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Head of Legal.  


Since our founding in 2015, we have advanced a pipeline of more than 20 programs with 6 clinical-stage programs, and we have built a global, fully integrated company with sites in South San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Zurich. Between our Transport Vehicle (TV) platform for delivering biologic drugs to the brain, our product portfolio that includes small molecules, antibodies, and gene therapies, and the global collaborations we leverage, there are many rewarding opportunities for a Vice President, Head of Intellectual Property to make significant impact by leading the IP Legal team, facilitating and protecting our inventions, and ultimately helping patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. 



  • Lead the creation, development, and execution of strategies for Denali’s patent and trademark portfolios, copyrights, trade secrets, and other intellectual property matters, including partnering with Discovery, Development, and Technical Operations leaders to protect platform and product rights through patent portfolios, ensure freedom to operate, and proactively communicate strategies and progress updates to Denali’s teams, Leadership, and the Board. 
  • Lead and mentor a high-functioning IP Legal team, including creating team organization and function strategy, recruiting top talent, managing resource allocation and the IP Legal budget, and creating and delivering regular reports on team progress.
  • Develop strategic guidance on IP transactional matters to facilitate and support the goals of the Business Development, Contracts, and Alliance Management teams, which may include all aspects of IP transactional work, such as reviewing, drafting, and negotiating IP-related terms in confidentiality, material transfer, collaboration, and licensing agreements, advising on terms of strategic alliances, performing diligence for in-licensing opportunities, and building diligence and facilitating out-licensing opportunities.     
  • Partner with our Finance and Corporate Legal teams in the preparation, review, and filing of securities filings, including creating and developing disclosure strategies for Discovery and Development related data, drafting and reviewing IP Legal disclosures and risk factors in securities filings, and facilitating the due diligence process related to corporate financings.
  • Counsel teams and leadership at our South San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Zurich sites, in aggressively building and defending Denali’s IP rights worldwide, including strategies for Denali’s patent portfolio and Denali’s competitiveness and freedom to operate for our platform and products, which may include oppositions, inter-parte reviews, and IP-related litigation.
  • Build and manage Denali’s partnerships with outside counsel law firms to foster long-term relationships and prioritize and focus work done externally, so that Denali achieves high-quality and cost-effective legal results.
  • Contribute to the leadership of the Legal team by identifying creative ways for the team to improve, keep the team informed of legal developments, and build and maintain a broad network of industry and government relationships.



  • 15+ years of experience in life sciences patent portfolio preparation, prosecution, licensing, defense, and enforcement, preferably including substantive experience with protein and small molecule based therapeutic discovery, development, and commercialization.
  • Advanced knowledge of domestic and international intellectual property laws, regulations, and processes relating to patents.
  • Self-motivated, creative, solution-oriented, while maintaining good attention to detail.
  • Able to develop, prepare presentations on, communicate clearly to teams and Leadership, and lead a team’s execution of intellectual property strategies.
  • Entrepreneurial, fosters good risk taking, and enjoys working in an international, fast-paced environment.
  • Willingness to work collaboratively by incorporating diverse perspectives and appropriately managing relationships with internal partners and teams, and build relationships with external collaborators, industry leaders, and government officials.
  • Experience building and mentoring engaged and effective teams of experienced IP legal professionals.
  • Significant experience in both a law-firm and in-house setting preferred.
  • J.D. degree and a graduate degree in a life sciences discipline.
  • Active registration in good standing to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Active member in good standing of at least one state bar.


Denali is committed to its core company value of unity by creating a diverse and inclusive environment. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, basis of disability, or any other federal, state or local protected class.



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