Life Sciences Leader Rejoins Latham as Partner in Silicon Valley

Christopher Hazuka returns after four years at Orexigen Therapeutics to focus on advising clients in life sciences transactions.

January 11, 2016

Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that Christopher Hazuka, PhD, has returned to the firm as a partner in the Corporate Department of the Silicon Valley office. His practice focuses on advising life sciences companies in structuring and negotiating transactions at every stage of their life cycle. 

Dr. Hazuka most recently served as Acting General Counsel and Assistant Secretary at Orexigen Therapeutics, where he worked since December 2011. At the La Jolla, CA-based company, Dr. Hazuka helped Orexigen work through a myriad of challenging issues across the company’s full range of legal matters, particularly as it pursued regulatory approval and commercialization of its lead drug, Contrave, a treatment for obesity. Of note was his role in Orexigen’s business development efforts to bring the product to market worldwide, especially working through the operational and legal aspects of its US collaboration with a large pharmaceutical company. 

Previously, while at Latham (2004-11), Dr. Hazuka advised on a wide range of intellectual property and technology-based deals, including: negotiating complex collaborations between biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies; in-licensing IP for emerging companies; structuring relationships to assist in the development of drug candidates and innovative technologies; advising on manufacturing agreements to obtain supplies of products for development and commercialization; advising on commercialization agreements, including co-promotion arrangements, for pharmaceutical products; and drafting agreements to provide resources for clinical trials. He also provided specialized advice in connection with venture financings, public offerings and M&A transactions.

“We’re excited to welcome Chris back to the firm,” said Tad Freese, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins in Silicon Valley. “He offers clients a distinctive set of experiences, relationships and industry knowledge. At Latham and in the life sciences community, Chris is highly regarded for his exceptional legal and client relationship skills, an unrelenting commitment to teamwork and an unflappable temperament.” 

Mark Roeder, a Silicon Valley partner and global Co-chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Industry Group, said: “Chris adds depth to our life sciences practice against the backdrop of record-setting deal activity in the sector. The frequency, size and complexity of transactions have continued to surge, driven by the ambitious goals of innovative companies, and Latham has been in the thick of the action. As we expand our market-leading practice, Chris possesses extremely broad experience and a well-developed skill set perfectly tailored to the needs of our clients.” 

Judith Hasko, a Silicon Valley partner and Chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Licensing Practice, added: “Technology transactions, ranging from complex strategic alliances to IP monetization and other commercial transactions, are business-critical deals that often shape the future of a life sciences company. Latham continues to build its strong and deep bench of advisers with medical, scientific and industry-related backgrounds, focused exclusively on these specialized and value-enhancing transactions.” 

“At Orexigen, I gained business operating experience and valuable perspective into pharmaceutical product development, manufacturing, and commercialization. Knowing Latham as well as I do, the firm clearly provides the optimal platform to develop my practice and to support the firm’s life sciences team and our clients,” said Dr. Hazuka. 

Dr. Hazuka received his law degree from University of California, Berkeley in 2003, and he earned a PhD in neurosciences from Stanford University in 1999. He initially joined Latham in 2004 and moved to Orexigen, a client of the firm, in December 2011. Prior to first joining Latham, he clerked for Judge Jeremy Fogel of the United States District Court of Northern California. 

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with more than 2,200 lawyers in its offices located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, including: Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the website at

Notes to Editors

1Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi.


Tad Freese, Silicon Valley Office Managing Partner, +1.650.463.3060

Mark Roeder, Co-chair of Life Sciences Industry Group, +1.650.463.3043

Judith Hasko, Chair of Life Sciences Licensing Practice, +1.650.463.3065

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