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Retiring Cooley Life Sciences Head Joins Kronos (Corrected)

July 20, 2020, 6:03 PMUpdated: July 22, 2020, 6:52 PM

Barbara Kosacz is retiring as a Cooley partner to become the chief operating officer and general counsel for cancer therapeutics company Kronos Bio, Inc., which had been a firm client.

Kosacz was at Cooley for more than 25 years, and remains a senior counsel.

At Kronos, Kosacz will oversee internal operations and legal functions and be member of the executive leadership team, according to Norbert Bischofberger, the president and CEO of Kronos.

“Barbara is universally recognized as one of the top life sciences attorneys in the country, having worked with clients in structuring and negotiating some of the most transformational transactions in our industry,” he said in a statement.

Kosacz said in a statement that she looked forward to “playing a deeper, more operational role” at Kronos after spending most of her career as an external adviser to biopharma companies.

At Cooley, Kosacz will be replaced by Kay Chandler as chair of the firm’s global life sciences industry practice. Christian Plaza will become vice chair, and Marya Postner will lead the firm’s life sciences partnering practice.

Kosacz had roles in a number of large life sciences transactions. She advised Cell Design Labs in its $567 million sale to Gilead Sciences; and on some major IPOs, including advising Versartis on its $144.9 million initial offering.

Over Kosacz’s time at the firm, Cooley’s life sciences group of 30 lawyers has won recognition in the biotechnology law area. In recent decades, the firm has grown to represent more than 1,600 public and life sciences clients worldwide.

The 1,100-lawyer firm counsels over 50% of the companies on the Nasdaq biotechnology index, on matters ranging from initial formation and funding to accessing capital markets, product development and commercialization as well as protection and enforcement of their intellectual property.

(Corrected to delete references to Amgen and Genetech IPOs in snapshot and first paragraph, as Kosacz was not involved in these matters.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at