Vice President of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property at Decibel Therapeutics
Boston, MA, US

The Vice President of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property will lead Decibel’s in-house legal function and will support a broad range of legal activities, including intellectual property strategy and execution, and contract management and execution.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated, hands-on leader with excellent interpersonal skills who is energized at the prospect of working in a hearing-focused discovery and development company on therapies ranging from small molecules to biologics to gene therapeutics.

Our employees are expected to function with a high degree of independence in a fast-paced startup company, while working collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team that is dedicated to the development of new therapies for hearing and balance disorders.

  • Intellectual property responsibilities:
    • Advise senior management on IP strategies, including what can and should be protected, where patents should be filed, and risks and opportunities associated with business development transactions.
    • Formulate and implement policy for US and foreign patent applications and patent term extension applications on a global basis.
    • Supervise and direct outside patent counsel in patent preparation and prosecution and assessment of freedom to operate, and provide technical and legal expertise to maximize the quality of applications.
    • Develop processes for protection of intellectual property and work closely with research and development personnel to identify patentable inventions, participate in invention disclosure assessments and provide guidance regarding the patentability of inventions under review.
    • Ensure the Company’s intellectual property interests are appropriately safeguarded in agreements.
    • Monitor, evaluate and address competitor and other applicable third party IP rights and advise senior management on the implications of such rights.
    • Lead Decibel’s monthly Intellectual Property Meeting
    • Serve as a member of Decibel’s Publication Review team and participate in ongoing publication reviews
    • Serve as a member of Decibel’s Research & Development Leadership Team
  • Legal affairs responsibilities:
    • Proactively ensure that Decibel conducts business in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
    • Work with the business development team on negotiating and executing strategic collaboration and license agreements for in-licensed technology and research and development collaboration agreements, and in interpreting these agreements afterwards
    • Provide contracting support to internal functions, which may include Research, Clinical Operations, Pharmaceutical Development, CMC, Manufacturing/Supply, G&A, HR, etc. as necessary to support the needs of the business.
    • In concert with the Contracts Manager, draft, review, and negotiate agreements and routine contracts, including those directed to confidentiality, consulting, material transfers, master services agreements, data transfer agreements, supply agreements, and statements of work, among others.
    • Develop processes and practices that streamline the contracting process, including developing and refining templates.
    • Advise the Decibel team on contract interpretation, dispute resolution, IP ownership, new laws that impact Decibel, and other legal risks.
    • Supervise contracts manager(s)


  • JD, preferably coupled with an advanced degree in science or equivalent experience, and admission to the Massachusetts state bar and the USPTO.
  • Minimum of 12 years of legal experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, in a law firm and/or in-house, with direct experience negotiating contracts typical for a drug development company as well as drafting and prosecuting patent applications and developing a strategic patent portfolio.
  • Client service orientation and ability to respond quickly with good judgment to urgent situations.
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple tasks
  • Ability to work individually, within a multi-disciplinary team, as well as with external vendors
  • Excellent communication, presentation, negotiation, influence, collaboration and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong analytical, organizational and communication skills (written and verbal) required.
  • Expertise in gene therapy intellectual property a plus.

Decibel Therapeutics, Inc. is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our goal is to have a diverse workforce.  We do not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status or disability or any other status protected under federal, state or local law.  All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business need.