Jenner & Block

Life Sciences

Clients in the life sciences industry turn to Jenner & Block for our exceptional advocacy and our track record of executing on client goals and objectives. With their combination of technical knowledge and industry experience, our life sciences lawyers understand the unique needs of clients in the high-stakes life sciences fields including biotechnnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. We have numerous lawyers with advanced degrees in such fields as biology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and chemical engineering. This technical knowledge, coupled with extensive courtroom experience, allows us to comprehend complex scientific issues and convey that information in an understandable manner to judges, juries and other target audiences.

Industry-Related Practices

  • Patent Litigation and Counseling
  • Trade Secrets
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Government Controversies and Insurance
  • Investigations
  • Antitrust
  • Environmental Practices

Patent Litigation and Counseling

The lawyers in our Chambers-recognized patent litigation group help clients enforce their intellectual property, defend against its misuse and develop IP strategies in all areas of the life sciences. Our lawyers handle complex patent cases efficienty and offer creative approaches to expedite resolutions. While we have significant trial experience, we also work closely with our clients to find solutions that avoid the risk and the cost of trial whenever possible.  Our team has a track record of successfully creating opportunities for early, favorable results that help clients achieve their business goals. 

Jenner & Block represents medical device, pharamaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies in litigation, including actions pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act and the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA).  In addition to taking these types of cases to trial, our team has the skill set to analyze and address the technical, regulatory and antitrust aspects of these matters.

Our lawyers also regularly counsel life sciences companies, rendering opinions on patent rights involving issues of infringement, validity and freedom to operate.  We also conduct patent due diligence and negotiate and prepare patent licenses and other transactional agreements.

Recent examples of our work include: 

  • Representing The Broad Institute, Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology and President and Fellows of Harvard College in a significant victory before the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in a highly watched case regarding who owns the patent for a ground breaking gene-editing technology.  The technology at issue, called CRISPR, has revolutionized the field of genetic engineering by allowing scientists to edit DNA more easily and effectively.  The case is currently on appeal.
  • Representing Coherus BioSciences in BPCIA patent litigation regarding Coherus’s pegfilgrastim biosimilar drug product.  Following the “patent dance,” Amgen filed a lawsuit against Coherus in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging infringement of a patent directed to a protein purification process. Coherus won a Motion to Dismiss, which successfully argued that there is no plausible interpretation under which Coherus would infringe the patent-in-suit.  The case is currently on appeal.

Our life sciences clients also turn to us for assistance in related areas such appellate and US Supreme Court issues, trade secrets matters and corporate transactional work.  Our services in these areas include:

Appellate and US Supreme Court

Jenner & Block’s experienced and highly regarded appellate practitioners can help ensure that your trial victory is protected — all the way to the US Supreme Court, if necessary. In 2016, our 7-1 record in patent appeals gained us recognition as one of the law firms that “dominated at the Federal Circuit” (Law360). Since then, our record has gotten even better – from 2017 to 2019, our record in patent appeals is 8-0. We have been equally successful at the Supreme Court. We have had 21 merits cases in the US Supreme Court over the last four terms alone. In 17 oral arguments, we substantially prevailed in 15 of them, winning another three cases summarily.

Our strong appellate track record stems from the fact that we handle cases at trial with the possibility of an appeal in mind. We pride ourselves on being able to identify the issues and arguments that best position our clients to prevail both in the district court and on appeal. Our lawyers’ trial experience, creativity and strong technical credentials lead to effective arguments that are well received by panel judges.

Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants

With a proliferation of cases aimed at protecting or attacking valuable intellectual property, trade secrets are more important than ever.  Jenner & Block’s Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants Practice is at the forefront of trade secret law.  We stand ready to protect our clients’ valuable trade secrets, to guard against any missteps during the hiring process, dismissal of employees and defending against allegations of wrongdoing if they arise. 

We are highly experienced at securing victories for our clients, as plaintiffs and defendants, both in and out of the courtroom.  Our interdisciplinary team comprises members of the firm’s Litigation, Intellectual Property and Labor and Employment Practices.  This coordinated approach results in a team that is highly collaborative and excels at providing proactive counseling to avoid litigation and successfully and efficiently resolving litigation if it does arise.  Our lawyers have litigated trade secret cases throughout the country, in both state and federal courts, from temporary restraining orders to trial and appeals. 

We also provide a wide range of counseling to ensure that our clients’ valuable trade secrets and other confidential information are protected.

Recent examples of our work include:

  • Counseling clients in developing policies and procedures to identify and protect their trade secrets from unauthorized use or distribution, including drafting agreements that enable our clients to share their trade secrets with third parties while protecting the confidential status of the trade secrets.
  • Drafting employment and other agreements containing restrictive covenants and non-disclosure provisions regarding confidential and proprietary information.
  • Counseling clients on pre-litigation negotiations involving the on-boarding of new executives or employees whose previous employment might result in potential issues or litigation for the new employer and advising on how to minimize the risks of trade secret misappropriation by departing employees.
  • Counseling clients regarding preconditions to enforcement of certain rights contained in certain statutes, such as the recently enacted federal Defend Trade Secrets Act.
  • Counseling clients on how to protect trade secrets that are required to be disclosed to the government, such as to meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Defense.

An example of our exemplary trade secrets practice is our successful representation of Coherus BioSciences.  Our firm defended Coherus against a trade secrets misappropriation claim regarding the manufacture and analysis of Coherus’s pegfilgrastim biosimilar drug product.  The case involves numerous alleged trade secrets, which Jenner & Block successfully settled in May of 2019.

Corporate/M&A

Transactional lawyers have extensive experience representing biotech, specialty pharma, pharmaceutical and medical device companies and have a deep and broad understanding of the life sciences industry and the issues that affect the industry. Our lawyers understand the impact regulatory and IP matters have on valuation of companies in the life sciences industry and are accustomed to working closely with lawyers who focus on this practice. Our transactional lawyers represent a cross-section of companies in the life sciences industry ranging from biotech start-ups to large multi-national pharmaceutical companies. They act as trusted advisors on corporate governance, capital raising, SEC reporting and M&A transactions.

Recent examples of our work include:

  • Enzon Pharmaceuticals in numerous offerings of common stock and convertible debt; sale of royalty interest in pegylated-alfa interferon product (PEG-INTRON) licensed to Schering Plough.
  • NPS Pharmaceuticals in a $100 million follow-on public offering of common stock.
  • Clementia Pharmaceuticals in a $60 million cross-over round; $137 million initial public offering of common stock; $70 million follow-on public offering of common stock.
  • Tengion in a Series C round of financing and initial public offering of common stock.
  • Lonza Group in a $5.5 billion acquisition of Capsugel SA; $3.1 billion offering of ordinary shares to finance the purchase of Capsugel; $1.2 billion acquisition of Arch Chemicals; acquisition of controlling interest in Octane Biotech.
  • Obagi Medical Products in a $58.8 million initial public offering; $145 million follow-on public offering of common stock; $441 million sale to Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
  • Otsuka Pharmaceutical in a $200 million acquisition of Busulfex assets from PDL BioPharma; acquisition of Interpharma Praha, a.s.
  • Bayer Healthcare AG in a collaboration agreement with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for VEGF Trap; collaboration agreement with ZymoGenetics; collaboration agreement with Nuvelo for alfimeprase.
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical in a split-off transaction involving TAP Pharmaceutical Products and Abbott Laboratories; various licensing and supply agreement matters.
  • Canaccord Capital Corporation in a $12 million SEC registered public offering of units of Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
  • Aphton Corporation in connection with several public offerings and PIPE transactions.
  • World Heart Corporation in connection with several public offerings and PIPE transactions.
  • BMO Capital Markets in connection with securities offerings for Reverlogix Corp.