Christopher J Denn

Christopher J. Denn

Christopher J. Denn
+1 617 570 8717

Chris Denn, a partner in Goodwin’s Life Sciences practice where he assists boards of directors and management teams in navigating the wide variety of commercial and legal issues that are critical to the success of a company’s efforts to deliver new treatments to patients. Chris has a comprehensive understanding of the life science industry informed by years spent as an in-house lawyer at AstraZeneca and extensive experience in private practice advising clients ranging from start-up companies to mid-cap public companies.


Chris advises on corporate governance and finance matters, mergers and acquisitions, strategic collaborations, commercial transactions and dispute resolution. Chris also provides guidance on integrating advice from other legal experts, such as patent prosecutors, litigators and tax advisors, so that it aligns with corporate strategy and practices. His recent representations include:

  • Blueprint Medicines Corporation in its global collaboration agreement with Roche and Genentech for the development and commercialization of pralsetinib. The deal included a $775 million upfront payment and $1.7 billion overall deal value
  • Kiadis Pharma in the exclusive license of its previously undisclosed K-NK004 program to Sanofi. The deal included a €17.5 million up front payment and Kiadis will be entitled to receive up to €857.5 million upon Sanofi’s achievement of preclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones
  • Evox Therapeutics in its research collaboration and license agreement with Eli Lilly and Company to leverage Evox's proprietary DeliverEX™ platform to develop and deliver RNA interference (RNAi) & antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) drug payloads for the potential treatment of neurological disorders. The deal included a $20 million upfront payment and potential pre-clinical and clinical development, regulatory and commercial milestones of up to approximately $1.2 billion
  • Esperion in its collaboration agreement with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. for the development and commercialization of NEXLETOL and NEXLIZET tablets in Japan, the largest Japan territory pharmaceutical licensing deal in the last 10 years
  • SpringWorks Therapeutics in connection with its clinical trial collaboration agreement with Allogene Therapeutics
  • CRISPR Therapeutics in a strategic collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals. This deal included a $175 million upfront payment and $1 billion+ overall deal value
  • Esperion in a licensing agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Europe. This deal included the EU rights to Esperion’s lead product candidate. The deal included a $300 million upfront payment and $1 billion+ overall deal value
  • Codiak in a research, development and commercialization deal with Jazz Pharmaceuticals with a $1 billion+ overall deal value
  • CRISPR Therapeutics in its collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, valued up to $2.6 billion with $105 million upfront. This deal was nominated for Allicense Breakthrough License Deal of the Year 2016
  • Galapagos NV in connection with its $2 billion strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc. including $300 million upfront and a $425 million equity investment. This deal was the Winner for Allicense Breakthrough License Deal of the Year 2016
  • Voyager Therapeutics in its strategic collaboration with Genzyme for $100 million upfront and up to $745 million in milestone payments
  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in its transformational alliance with Genzyme for RNAi therapeutics as genetic medicines along with a $700 million equity investment
  • Voyager Therapeutics in its $845 million strategic collaboration with Genzyme
  • Dragonfly Therapeutics in its $33 million collaborative agreement with Celgene Corporation 
  • Rodin Therapeutics in its $485 million multi-year research collaboration around neuronal epigenetics with Biogen
  • CRISPR Therapeutics in its collaboration with Bayer, valued up to $635 million with $335 million upfront
  • Lycera in connection with its $83 million global collaboration with Celgene Corporation
  • BIND Therapeutics in its strategic alliances with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Amgen to develop and commercialize AccurinsTM, a targeted and programmable cancer nanomedicine
  • Warp Drive Bio in its strategic partnership with Sanofi
  • CombinatoRx, Incorporated in its merger and a series of related transactions with Neuromed Pharmaceuticals
  • Kriya Therapeutics in its $80.5 million Series A financing
  • Atlas Ventures in its $1.5 million seed financing of Spero Therapeutics
  • Spero Therapeutics LLC, in connection with its founding, in-licensing of IP rights, seed and $30 million Series A and $30 million Series B financings
  • Pharmascience in its funding of Bion Pharmaceuticals
  • RaNA Therapeutics in its $20.7 million Series A financing and $55 million Series B financing
  • Raze Therapeutics in its $24 million Series A financing
  • Rodin Therapeutics in its $12.9 million Series A financing

Pro Bono Activities

Chris has been an advisor to several of the firm’s pro bono clients including Autism Speaks, the Greater Boston Foodbank and the Progeria Research Foundation.

Professional Experience

Chris entered the life sciences industry as Associate General Counsel to Astra USA, Inc. where he later served as Acting General Counsel. Chris remained with Astra through its merger with Zeneca and the formation of AstraZeneca.

In this role, Chris supported Drug Development, Regulatory Affairs, Sales and Marketing and Business Development functions within Astra and AstraZeneca.

After leaving AstraZeneca, Chris became a partner in the Boston office of Mintz Levin, where he practiced in the Business and Finance Section, advising start-up and established life science companies.




Boston College Law School

(cum laude)


Connecticut College

(cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)



  • Massachusetts

Recognition & Awards

Chris has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for his work in Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice 2022-2023.

Chris was recognized for his work in MA – Transactions in 2021 by The IAM Patent 1000.

Chris was a 2021 recommended lawyer for Patents: Licensing by The Legal 500.

Chris has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and the IFLR1000, a guide recognizing the world’s leading financial and corporate lawyers.

Chris led the transaction recognized by Allicense as its Breakthrough License Deal of the Year 2016.

Goodwin’s Life Sciences practice has received numerous awards and honors, including U.S. News’ Biotechnology Law Firm of the Year numerous times and perennial nationwide recognition by Chambers USA, among other legal guides.


Chris has been a guest lecturer at Columbia Law School and at Stanford Law School speaking on the practice of negotiating complex collaboration deals in the life sciences industry.

Chris regularly speaks at continuing legal education conferences, national biopharmaceutical partnering conferences and Massachusetts Biotechnology Council events.