Dr. Christopher Hazuka advises life sciences companies on the agreements and transactions that are essential to their success at all stages of their life cycle, drawing on his experience as a scientist and former in-house counsel.

Dr. Hazuka, based in both San Diego and Silicon Valley, brings clients a scientist’s sensibility, a passion for creating synergies to bring innovation to market, and a pragmatic understanding of the full complement of business and legal issues clients face. In particular, he helps established and emerging life sciences companies by providing problem-solving advice to structure, negotiate, and execute a myriad of transactions, such as:

  • Complex collaborations
  • Intellectual property and technology licenses
  • Relationships to assist in developing drug candidates and innovative technologies
  • Manufacturing and quality agreements
  • Commercial agreements, including profit sharing and co-promotion agreements
  • University licenses
  • Clinical trial agreements

In the context of strategic transactions, he advises on:

  • Due diligence and disclosure matters
  • Venture financings, public offerings, and M&A transactions

Dr. Hazuka earned a PhD at Stanford University in the Neurosciences Program for his work in Dr. Richard Scheller’s laboratory on the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission. He later served as in-house counsel for Orexigen Therapeutics, an emerging company that successfully developed and commercialized a drug to treat obesity. At the La Jolla, California-based company, Dr. Hazuka assisted with challenging issues across the company’s full range of legal matters.

He also clerked for Judge Jeremy Fogel of the United States District Court of Northern California, assisting on several high-stakes technology patent litigation matters.

Dr. Hazuka has advised a wide variety of life sciences companies and firms. A representative sampling includes:

Representative transactions include:

  • Ideaya Biosciences’ collaboration and license agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to develop Synthetic Lethality programs MAT2A, Pol Theta, and Werner Helicase programs
  • HilleVax’s collaboration with Takeda to develop and commercialize a norovirus vaccine candidate
  • Castle Creek’s collaboration with Fibrocell to develop and commercialize a gene therapy
  • License agreements with Recida and Lyzz Capital for development and commercialization in China
  • Licenses in connection with formation of companies by California-based Frazier Healthcare, including Phathom Pharmaceuticals’ license agreement with Takeda
  • Distribution agreements on behalf of Tokyo-based Terumo, including with US-based startup Orchestra Biomed
  • Orexigen’s collaboration with Takeda
  • CytomX Therapeutics’ collaboration with Astellas Pharma for the discovery, research, development, and commercialization of novel T-cell engaging bispecific antibodies targeting CD3 and selected tumor cell surface antigens for the treatment of cancer, using CytomX’s Probody® therapeutic technology platform

Emerging Companies

  • ChemoCentryx
  • Ideaya Biosciences
  • Ignyta
  • Neurelis
  • Phathom Pharmaceuticals
  • Prometheus Biosciences
  • Anima Biotech
  • Centrexion
  • Neumora
  • Various startups out of 8VC and Catalys Pacific Fund

Established Companies

  • Allergan
  • Kyowa Hakko Kirin
  • Ligand Pharmaceuticals
  • Terumo

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 2003
  • PhD, Stanford University, 1999
  • BA, Northwestern University, 1991

Languages Spoken

  • English