Benjamin H. Pensak counsels clients on technology transactions and related corporate matters, primarily in the life sciences industry. Ben represents international and US-based public and private companies and institutions, and his clients include biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical device, diagnostics, and medical informatics companies. Ben advises clients regarding negotiating and structuring acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, corporate partnering, licensing, and other complex collaborations. He also drafts and negotiates day-to-day technical contractual arrangements. He is the deputy leader of the firm's life sciences transactions practice.
In his transactional work, Ben handles arrangements related to discovery, development, manufacture and supply, marketing, and outsourcing for life sciences companies and other innovative and developed technology companies. He also works with research organizations and institutions. Recognized by Chambers USA, Ben is hailed as having “an extremely high legal and life sciences IQ . . . . He is quick on his feet and is an excellent technical drafter.”
While earning his undergraduate degree in religion, Ben conducted a range of microbiology research focused primarily on gene therapy.
Eli Lilly in its in-license with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for OWL833, an oral, non-peptidic GLP-1 receptor agonist for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes; in-license and collaboration agreement with, and equity investment in, Sigilon Therapeutics related to the development of encapsulated cell therapies for the potential treatment of type 1 diabetes; in-license and collaboration agreement with, and equity investment in, CureVac AG related to the development and commercialization of cancer vaccine products based on CureVac's proprietary RNActive technology that targets tumor neoantigens; in-license agreement with Nektar Therapeutics to develop and commercialize NKTR-358, an IL-2 targeting drug designed to treat autoimmune diseases; out-license agreement with, and equity investment in, Ignyta, related to taladegib, an orally available, hedgehog/smoothened inhibitor; development and commercialization agreement with AstraZeneca related to BACE-inhibiting molecules; development and in-license agreement with Immunocore related to Immunocore’s Immune Mobilising Monoclonal T-Cell Receptor Against Cancer technology; out-license agreement with Sanofi for the potential Rx-to-OTC switch of Cialis®; and co-development and co-commercialization agreement with Pfizer relating to tanezumab and other hNGF antibodies for the treatment of pain
Xencor in its research and license agreement with Genentech to develop and commercialize IL-15 cytokine therapeutics; collaboration and out-license agreement with Novartis related to the development and commercialization of therapeutics based on Xencor’s bispecific antibody technology or XmAb® Fc technologies; out-license agreement with Amgen to Xencor’s XmAb® technologies for use in cancer immunotherapy and inflammation; and discovery and out-license agreement with Novo Nordisk to jointly discover novel biologic drug candidates combining multiple Xencor XmAb® technologies
Gilead in its collaboration agreement with Scholar Rock Holding for the development and commercialization of Scholar Rock’s novel therapies for fibrotic diseases targeting latent TGF-beta1
Merck in its in-license and collaboration agreement with NGM Biopharmaceuticals for a wide range of preclinical biologics; agreement to sell its consumer care business to Bayer; and co-promotion agreement with Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. in Japan for pembrolizumab
MEI Pharma in its out-license agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin for the development and commercialization in Japan of MEI-401, an oral inhibitor of PI3K delta; in-license agreement with Presage Biosciences for voruciclib, an oral and selective cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor; and out-license agreement with Helsinn Group for the development and commercialization of pracinostat, an oral histone deacetylase inhibitor
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in its in-licensing and collaboration agreement with Intellia Therapeutics to advance CRISPR/Cas gene-editing technology for in vivo therapeutic development
Innovent Biologics in its co-development and co-commercialization agreement with Hanmi Pharmaceutical related to a bispecific antibody to be constructed using intellectual property contributions from both Hanmi and Innovent and enabling immunotherapy and targeted therapy at the same time; and development and in-license agreement with EpimAb Biotherapeutics for the development of bispecific antibodies using EpimAb’s Fabs-In-Tandem Immunoglobulin platform
University of Michigan Law School, 2006, J.D.
Wesleyan University, 2002, B.A., With Honors
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Intellectual Property, Law360 (2019)
Recommended, Intellectual property: Patents: licensing, The Legal 500 US (2019)
Next Generation Lawyer, Industry focus: Healthcare: life sciences, TheLegal 500 US (2019)
Ranked, Life Sciences: Corporate/Commercial, California, Chambers USA (2018, 2019)
Life Sciences Star, Financial and Corporate, LMG Life Sciences (2018, 2019)