Astellas Pharmaceutical Jobs

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Astellas Pharma Associate Director, IP Innovation & New Technologies in Northbrook, Illinois

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at .

This position is based in Northbrook, Illinois. Remote work from certain states may be permitted in accordance with Astellas' Responsible Flexibility Guidelines. Candidates interested in remote work are encouraged to apply.

Purpose and Scope:

Under the Ex. Director's direction to provide patent and strategic support to Astellas operations and R&D covering a broad spectrum of patent support. This position is responsible for providing practical, timely and high quality IP support and managing a broad range of stakeholders at the local (US) and global level, with an emphasis on Astellas' cell therapy research sites in Seattle/San Francisco and other initiatives in the Boston, MA region. The position will have a significant impact on business decisions and outcomes across the US and region. Participates in cross functional teams, identifies legal and IP related business issues, provides legal options and analysis of possible solutions and gives recommendations for addressing critical issues so that business and legal objectives are met, while keeping manager appropriately informed. Advises and consults with employees and management and educates clients about ongoing initiatives and proactive measures to reduce legal and IP-related business risks for the company.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Advises Astellas in all patent-related matters, including patentability, non-infringement/infringement, validity/invalidity, freedom to operate, due diligence, business development, and agreement review, in particular, for Astellas' cell therapy research activities at Universal Cells, Xyphos, AIRM, and Primary Focus Area Immuno-oncology

  • Establish rapport and positive working relationship with senior management and scientists at Universal Cells, as well as with Xyphos, AIRM, and other relevant functions

  • Obtains technical information/data from scientists, assesses the patentability of new technologies developed by US research teams, and prepares and prosecutes related patent applications in close consultation with relevant scientific team, senior management, and IP INV.

  • Managing patent portfolios of Astellas both with respect to pending applications and granted patents, in order to safeguard the rights of the company in a cost-effective manner and in such a way that an optimal patent portfolio is created and maintained to protect Astellas's products, taking into account national and international law and guidelines of the US, EP, and JP

  • Ensures patent portfolios are aligned with and support overall commercial and development objectives.

  • Review of IP and publication provisions in agreements, including sponsored research agreements, license agreements, collaboration agreements, MTAs, etc.

  • Understands the competitive IP landscape and counsels development teams accordingly.

  • Executes timely, comprehensive freedom to operate analysis and develops sound, tactical approaches to minimize third party IP risk to product initiatives.

  • Reviews abstracts, slides, and publications about technical matters, intended to be disclosed by or for Astellas in the public domain in order to safeguard Astellas' patent rights before disclosure of such information

  • Participates in the creation and implementation of IP policies and procedures within the US IP team.

  • Routinely engages in client counseling and education and identifies training needs within client groups; assists in the development and presentation of training on relevant patent laws and legal/risk issues.

  • Works closely with patent colleagues in EU and Japan

  • Filing of administrative proceedings in close consultation with outside counsel to invalidate third party patent rights (e.g. Post grant proceedings, opposition, etc.), where appropriate, including activities such as monitoring patent bulletins and third party's patent applications, collecting prior art documents and further evidence, drafting the notice of opposition, filing observations in the course of the proceedings, attending oral proceedings and optionally filing an appeal after an unfavorable decision in first instance was obtained.

  • Defending Astellas patents as needed against oppositions filed by third parties before a patent office, in close consultation with an external lawyer.

  • Manages outside counsel effectively and efficiently; works creatively with outside counsel to minimize fees and costs

  • Performs job duties with minimal direction.

  • Some travel as needed.

Quantitative Dimensions:

  • Responsible for operating within the IP budget, and any applicable project specific budgets.

Organizational Context

  • Executive Director, Rx+ and New Technologies

Qualifications Required

  • JD degree and admitted to practice before the USPTO and a state Bar.

  • BS degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or a related field(preferably Ph.D.).

  • Minimum of 7 years IP experience in patent drafting and prosecution, FTO analysis, client counseling and agreement review, preferably at least 3 yrs. in a corporate legal department of a pharmaceutical company and 2 years in cell therapy.

  • Ability to craft and execute complex patent strategies related to pharmaceutical and cell therapy development.

  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, including R&D, regulatory, manufacturing and commercial elements.

  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and efficiently manage multi-dimensional projects in a fast-paced environment.

  • Self-motivated, detail oriented, strategic thinker, able to manage multiple projects, appropriately prioritize and provide high quality, timely advice to clients.

  • Business acumen with a strong track record of strategic thinking and behavior.

  • Understanding of and ability to manage the cultural and logistical challenges of working with a foreign parent company and within a global organization.

  • Strong negotiation, oral and written communication, presentation, training, organizational and teamwork skills.

  • Solid understanding of global patent laws and ability to advise clients from a global perspective, as well as a US perspective.

Qualifications Preferred

  • Experience providing IP support to clients in a wide range of technologies, including pharmaceuticals and regenerative medicine


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation and Sick time, plus national holidays including year-end shut down

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans.


Category Legal

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment. EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans