Head of IP and Legal for US R&D

Facility:  Legal, Compliance and Audit

Lexington, MA, US

About the Department

Dicerna, a Novo Nordisk company, is focused on driving innovation in RNAi (ribonucleic acid interference) to selectively target and silence genes that cause or contribute to disease. Our proprietary GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ RNAi technologies have the potential to address conditions that are difficult or impossible to treat with other modalities. Established as a Transformational Research Unit (TRU) following Novo Nordisk’s acquisition of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in December 2021, the Dicerna TRU is a unique new organization within Novo Nordisk that brings together the best of both worlds – the agility, collaborative pioneering spirit and calculated risk-taking profile of a biotech along with the scale, resources and capabilities of a global leader in drug development. With approximately 200 researchers, scientists, drug developers and operational staff, we are a team of inventive and entrepreneurial thinkers pushing the boundaries of science to create and drive new RNAi-based therapies for both rare and more prevalent diseases from the bench to the clinic. Together, we are driving change. Are you ready to make a difference?



The Position

Provides IP and Legal direction and management to support and implement overall strategic directives.



This position reports to the SVP, Dicerna TRU.


The role requires a proactive, dynamic, collaborative, and experienced life sciences IP and legal executive for the US Research and Development groups. This role will drive IP and Legal function operational excellence across all US R&D sites and be a key voice of leadership on the Dicerna Transformational Research Unit Senior Team (TRUST) and a strategic thought partner both functionally and related to the expanding US R&D footprint. This executive will be responsible for advising leadership on both IP and general legal matters facing the R&D organization in the US, as well as managing the US IP and general legal teams.  This role requires clear and demonstrated IP strategy, leadership, and management acumen as well as general legal business acumen.


This is a hands-on leadership role with the leadership acumen to work across a matrix global organization.  Day-to-day responsibilities include patent prosecution, counseling of Research & Development management, patent lifecycle management, patent portfolio management, advising on complex business transactions, trade secret matters, opinion work, potential litigation support, contracting, compliance and senior management briefing. This position plays an integral role as a working partner with  Senior Management and Research & Development teams as well as the Corporate Patent and Legal functions at Novo Nordisk.


This role is based in Lexington, MA


Essential Functions

  • Identify and examine potential IP opportunities and encourages the creation and protection of IP to ensure long-term competitive advantage
  • Provide advice and counseling related to patents and other intellectual property matters pertaining to discovering, acquiring, developing, and commercializing innovative therapeutics and platforms
  • Creation and implementation of IP strategies for DRNA therapeutic areas and platform technologies
  • Responsible for all aspects of patent application preparation and prosecution
  • Manage and direct relationships with outside counsel, including patent prosecution, assessment, assessment of infringement claims, and provides support for patent litigation
  • Effectively advise senior management and Research and Development teams on material strategic and tactical IP matters and how to manage risks
  • Confirms that assumptions relating to exclusivity and overall IP strength are accurate and consistent in financial models
  • Oversees all due diligence evaluations performed internally and externally and reports to senior management all IP risks attendant to the contemplated transaction
  • Manage and develop the Dicerna TRU IP group. Provide leadership and mentor across the Legal team and dotted line relationships
  • Manages the overall budget for IP and Legal R&D department
  • Oversees general legal matters across US R&D


Physical Requirements

0-10% overnight travel required.


Development of People

Ensure that reporting personnel have individual development plans (IDP), with annual goals and measurements that are consistent with the priorities of the business, and that interim reviews are held so that their work is focused on those priorities, and they understand their level of accountability for results and the measurement process. Ensure that the IDP forms include completed learning and aspiration plans and are in place for all reporting personnel to enable the achievement of goals and capability to assume increased levels of responsibility. Manage the application and communication of all Novo Nordisk policies, procedures, and Novo Nordisk Way.



  • Juris Doctorate admitted to practice law in at least one state and registered to practice before the US Patent Office
  • Undergraduate degree in Biology, Chemistry or Biochemistry required, advanced scientific degree preferred
  • Law firm and Bio/pharmaceutical legal experience required, with 10+ years experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in patent preparation and prosecution, licensing and negotiation, mergers and acquisitions and due diligence, litigation, strategic client and management counseling.
  • Demonstrated success as a strong patent prosecution professional.
  • Experience in general legal bio/pharma business matters across contracts, compliance, and employee relations for Research and Development operations
  • Experience drafting and negotiating contracts common to the biotech and life sciences industry.
  • Demonstrated expertise in relevant federal and state laws, regulations, rules and guidance as well as industry codes and principles for Research and Development operations required.
  • Demonstrated leadership with experience managing people in a matrixed environment required.


We commit to an inclusive recruitment process and equality of opportunity for all our job applicants.


At Novo Nordisk we recognize that it is no longer good enough to aspire to be the best company in the world. We need to aspire to be the best company for the world and we know that this is only possible with talented employees with diverse perspectives, backgrounds and cultures. We are therefore committed to creating an inclusive culture that celebrates the diversity of our employees, the patients we serve and communities we operate in. Together, we’re life changing.


Novo Nordisk is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by local, state or federal laws, rules or regulations.


Novo Nordisk requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Novo Nordisk will consider requests for reasonable accommodation.


If you are interested in applying to Novo Nordisk and need special assistance or an accommodation to apply, please call us at 1-855-411-5290. This contact is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.