Brendan is a partner focused on life sciences licensing and strategic partnering transactions.

Brendan C. McCarthy
Brendan C. McCarthy
San Diego
Silicon Valley
P+1 858 436 8013
Brendan C. McCarthy

Brendan leads our Life Sciences Licensing and Strategic Partnering Transactions group in San Diego, a group he founded in the Southern California region in 2012. Brendan specializes in advising on corporate partnering, strategic alliances, and licensing and commercialization of intellectual property and technology assets. His experience in this capacity includes structuring and negotiating licensing agreements, development agreements, collaboration agreements, technology transfer agreements, supply agreements, and manufacturing and distribution agreements. In addition to representing company clients in their commercial and licensing activities, Brendan also represents a number of prominent venture capital funds and institutional investors in their financing activities.

Brendan has particular expertise in structuring and negotiating strategic “bet-the-company” alliances, collaborations, and joint ventures on behalf of start-up, emerging growth, and public companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, agritech, foodtech, and genomics industries. Brendan has negotiated these arrangements opposite companies such as Archer-Daniels-Midland, Astellas, Becton Dickinson, Danone, Elanco, General Mills, Gilead Sciences, Janssen, Monsanto, Novartis, Regeneron, Takeda, and Thermo Fisher.

Brendan has also negotiated numerous licensing, pre-clinical, and clinical arrangements with major research institutions, including (among various others): Broad Institute, Caltech, Cornell University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Duke University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, MD Anderson, MIT, Moffitt Cancer Center, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Scripps Research Institute, Stanford University, University of California (various campuses), University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Southern California, University of Texas (various campuses),  and Yale University.

Prior to joining Gunderson Dettmer, Brendan was an attorney in the Palo Alto office of Cooley LLP.

Brendan holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School as well as a B.S., with honors, in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Brendan is a member of the State Bar of California.


  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Computer Engineering
    • with Honors