Q: What is the general mission of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.?
James Cullem: Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. is a family-owned, private company encompassing more than 400 employees globally. The company has grown over the last decade to become the recognized worldwide leader in the development of innovative and high-quality reagents for studying cellular signaling pathways, and their defects that underlie most cancers and other diseases. The company has also developed proprietary discovery technologies that have impacted on the drug development and diagnostics fields, including identification of novel diagnostic biomarkers and drug targets.
Q: When was Cell Signaling Technology founded?
James Cullem: Cell Signaling Technology was launched in 1999 as a spin-out of New England Biolabs, Inc. (Ipswich, MA) by scientists interested and focused in tumor biology and developing better reagents for its study. The two companies, sharing family co-ownership, still have a close business relationship, although their areas of product focus are distinct.
According to James Cullem, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.’s past extension of its patent portfolio covering the unique class of motif-specific, context-independent antibodies was a pivotal step in the company’s leadership in phosphoproteomic discovery. James Cullem served almost 7 years as the company’s Director of Intellectual Property & Licensing, as well as Chief Counsel, and was directly responsible for writing and obtaining those crucial patents worldwide. He highlights that these unique antibodies have been employed to substantially advance the elucidation of cellular signaling pathways and defects in tumor cells, and have aided the identification of novel diagnostic biomarkers and drug targets in cancer.
Given his tremendous expertise in cancer diagnostics and genomics, entrepreneur and business executive James Cullem is well positioned to speak to these research advancements. He formerly served as a co-chair with the Boston Patent Law Association and retains membership rights with a broad range of industry organizations.
Each early-stage technology firm will eventually need to hire in-house counsel, according to experienced entrepreneur and general counsel, James Cullem. The candidate may may hold one of several titles such as Senior Counsel, General Counsel or Chief Counsel. Regardless of his or her designation, this professional must be qualified to manage a wide variety of legal decisions and activities for the firm. In the opinion of James Cullem, it’s essential for company management to consider the skills and attributes of each candidate, in order to determine which one will best serve all the constituents of the organization.
James Cullem explains that an in-house attorney may be spending ample time on intellectual property, patents and other related contracts and licenses. To that end, he or she should be registered to practice patent law by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The person selected for In-House Counsel must be a registered patent attorney if managing intellectual property is going to be a substantial part of the attorney’s responsibility.