Marya Postner

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About Marya

Marya Postner is head of Cooley's life sciences partnering practice. Marya represents public and private life sciences companies in a variety of complex transactions including collaborations, license agreements, options to license or purchase, territory-specific licenses, joint venture and other profit-sharing arrangements, co-promotion relationships, and manufacture and supply agreements. She counsels clients with respect to the structuring and negotiation of agreements designed to maximize the value of the company's products and technology assets. She has particular expertise handling strategic alliances between biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in areas as diverse as collaborative research and the development and marketing of late-stage pharmaceutical products.

Marya has a PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and she previously practiced in the firm's patent counseling & prosecution group. She combines her resulting knowledge of scientific and intellectual property matters with a deep understanding of the life sciences industry to help her clients devise creative solutions to issues that arise during the negotiation or implementation of their most important collaborative relationships.

Marya’s recent representative transactions include:

  • Forbius: sale to Bristol Myers Squibb, including future success-based milestone payments.
  • Sangamo Therapeutics: global collaboration agreement with Novartis to develop and commercialize gene regulation therapies to address autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders; $75 million upfront, up to $720 million in milestone payments and tiered royalties.
  • Sangamo Therapeutics: agreement with Biogen for development and commercialization of gene regulation therapies for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases; $125 million upfront, $225 million equity, up to $2.37 billion in milestone payments and tiered royalties.
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals: exclusive license from PharmaMar for lurbinectedin in the United States; $200 million upfront, up to $800 million in milestone payments and tiered royalties.
  • Iconic Therapeutics: option agreement with Exelixis to advance a next-generation antibody-drug conjugate for treatment of cancer; $7.5 million upfront plus milestones and royalties.
  • GTx: reverse merger with Oncternal Therapeutics, including percentage of proceeds from future transactions involving and royalties on sales of GTx’s selective androgen receptor products.
  • Triphase Accelerator Corporation: option-to-acquire arrangement with Celgene for a pre-clinical hemologic oncology therapeutic; $40 million upfront and up to $940 million in milestone payments.
  • Tetra Discovery Partners: collaboration with Shionogi for development and commercialization of BPN14770 for the treatment of Fragile X Syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease; $5 million upfront, $35 million equity, up to $120 million in milestone payments and royalties.
  • Kineta: research collaboration with Pfizer to develop RIG-I agonist immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer; $15 million upfront, up to $505 million in milestone payments and royalties.
  • Compact Imaging: agreement with Novartis Pharma for development of a low-cost home-based monitor to detect progression of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Sangamo Therapeutics: collaboration with Gilead to develop next-generation cell therapies for the treatment of cancer; $150 million upfront, up to $3 billion in milestones and tiered royalties.
  • Sangamo Therapeutics: research collaboration with Pfizer for zinc finger protein transcription factor gene therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD); $12 million upfront, up to $150 million in milestone payments and tiered royalties.
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals: option agreement with ImmunoGen for 3 antibody-drug conjugates; $75 million, $100 million in development funding plus option exercise, milestone and royalty payments.
  • Sangamo Therapeutics: agreement with Pfizer to develop and commercialize gene therapy programs for hemophilia A; $70 million upfront, milestones up to $475 million and tiered royalties.
  • Five Prime Therapeutics: worldwide collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, valued up to $1.74 billion, to develop and commercialize Five Prime’s colony stimulating factor 1 receptor antibody.
  • NGM Biopharmaceuticals: collaboration with Merck to research and develop novel biologic therapies across a wide range of therapeutic areas; $94 million upfront payment, $106 million equity, $250 million guaranteed R&D funding plus option, milestone and royalty payments.
  • NewLink Genetics Corporation: exclusive, worldwide license to Genentech for NLG919 and next generation IDO/TDO inhibitors; $150 million upfront, milestones exceeding $1 billion plus royalties.

Marya has received recognition from:

  • Best Lawyers in America for Biotechnology Law since 2008
  • Who’s Who of Legal since 2013
  • LMG Life Sciences as a Finance & Transactional “Star” 
  • IAM Patent 1000 as a “go-to for biotech and biopharmaceutical companies as they make tactical manoeuvres" since 2012
  • Chambers USA in Life Sciences: Corporate/Commercial – California
  • Legal 500 as a "Key Lawyer" in Healthcare: Life Sciences


University of California, Berkeley School of Law
JD, 1996

Princeton University
PhD, 1993, Molecular Biology

Princeton University
MA, 1989, Molecular Biology

Georgetown University
BS, 1987, Biology, magna cum laude

Court admissions

US District Court for the Northern District of California

US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Rankings & accolades

Chambers USA: Life Sciences: Corporate/Commercial – California (2020 – 2023)

Legal 500: Healthcare: Life Sciences “Key Lawyer”

LMG Life Sciences: Finance & Transactional “Star”

Best Lawyers in America: Biotechnology Law

IAM Patent 1000: Go-to for Biotech and Biopharmaceutical Companies

Who’s Who of Legal

Memberships & affiliations

American Bar Association

Sigma Xi

American Association for the Advancement of Science