Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


Biotechnology & Life Sciences Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland advises biotech and life sciences clients in areas such as IP, corporate organization and financing, FDA matters, tax, litigation and ADR.

Sutherland’s Biotechnology and Life Sciences team provides the full range of intellectual property services companies need to protect their proprietary innovations. The scientific background of Sutherland’s lawyers enables them to handle the most complex business and legal strategies in this rapidly evolving and expanding area. We have industry-specific experience in patent prosecution, freedom-to-operate opinions, due diligence, patent landscaping, licensing and technology transfer agreements, litigation, interferences and foreign oppositions. Combined with our firm's knowledge of corporate transactions, regulatory matters and tax law, we offer our clients end-to-end service in this dynamic space.

In addition to their legal degrees, our attorneys hold degrees in molecular genetics, microbiology, immunology, cellular biology, medicine, pharmacology, neuroscience, biochemistry and biomedical engineering. Many have relevant industry experience, including working as researchers and practicing medicine. Their significant academic and industry training allows them to better understand clients’ technologies and business models and to provide informed advice regarding patent portfolio development and monetization strategies.

Sutherland’s Biotechnology and Life Sciences team represents a diverse range of clients, including nonprofit research institutions, entrepreneurial enterprises and multinational corporations. We help commercialize discoveries, protect key intellectual property and structure business and partnerships to best enable scientists to bring the next generation of medicines, products and services to market.
Why Sutherland
. Our lawyers are highly qualified scientists. They have completed advanced degrees, undertaken post-doctoral research and taught as university professors. Their experience includes: molecular microarrays, biomarkers, nanoclusters, stem cell differentiation; cellular therapy and scaffolding, agricultural biotech, biofuels, enzyme optimization, antibody design, vaccine production, biopharmaceuticals, biosimilars, drug delivery systems, tissue engineering, surgical adhesives and instruments, biosensors, mechanical heart valves, ventricular assist pumps, microneedles, and biomaterials for wound treatment or tissue regeneration.

Patent knowledge. Our lawyers have broad experience in patent prosecution, licensing and litigation. This allows them to provide practical legal advice to businesses on the cutting edge of the biotech revolution enabling our clients to protect their innovations, maximize the monetary value of their discoveries and techniques, and defend their technology from potentially infringing activity.

Business acumen. Sutherland’s IP practice is complemented by a strong corporate practice that has significant experience in the business side of science and helps bio-entrepreneurs thrive. We are adept at securing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants as well as raising angel, seed and venture capital financing. We assist with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and joint development agreements. We know how to handle international transactions and offer counsel on restructuring and tax issues and vigorously defend our clients in litigation when necessary.

Government agency experience. In addition to significant experience working with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Sutherland has decades of experience dealing with government agencies including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. We guide clients quickly and efficiently though procedures to minimize the time spent waiting for decisions and approvals.

Broad industry knowledge. Our lawyers have training and experience across an array of biotechnology and life sciences sectors and technologies. We advise clients on agricultural biotech, drug delivery systems, biotech research tools, biomedical devices, tissue engineering and stem cells, pharmaceuticals and biotherapeutics.

Client-driven strategies. We listen to our clients and understand the industries in which they work. We focus on their business needs and commercial objectives in developing strategies to maximize protection, build assets, protect markets and develop revenue streams for patentees, their investors, licensees and business partners.

Nuts and Bolts
Our lawyers are experienced in:

  • Agricultural biotechnology
  • Biotechnology research tools
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Environmental biocompatibility
  • Genetic expression systems
  • Implantable biomedical devices
  • Molecular microarray diagnostics
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Nanobiotechnology labels
  • Pharmaceuticals and biotherapeutics
  • Stem cells and tissue engineering
  • Vaccines and prophylactics

We provide a broad range of services to clients in the biotechnology and life sciences industry, including:

  • Patentability opinions
  • Patent drafting and U.S. and foreign patent prosecution
  • Freedom-to-practice opinions
  • Patent infringement analysis and strategy counseling
  • Technology transfer, licensing and other cooperative commercialization and development agreements
  • Complex intellectual property litigation and interferences
  • Confidentiality and material transfer agreements

We also provide advice and counseling to clients in the biotechnology and life sciences industry in areas such as:

  • Organization of corporations, partnerships and LLCs
  • Employment agreements
  • FDA regulations
  • Stock option and employee benefits plans
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants
  • Angel, seed and venture capital financing
  • Initial public offerings
  • Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
  • International transactions
  • Tax counseling, restructuring and controversy resolution

Take Action
Sutherland provides end-to-end services to companies in the biotech and life sciences industry. With specific scientific and industry knowledge, we protect and leverage investments in intellectual property effectively and efficiently, and our IP team enlists support from other Sutherland practices to meet all of our clients’ legal needs.

Selected Experience
Sutherland provides IP counsel to leading developer of diagnostic technology.
Sutherland provided IP counsel to a company licensing patents for disease-associated biomarkers and cellular receptors.

Sutherland represents veterinary medical device and technology company in stem cell patenting.
A veterinary medical technology company turns to Sutherland for guidance in patenting and licensing culture media for stem cell proliferation.

Sutherland completes diligence on the acquisition and licensing of bead-based molecular bioarray nucleic acid detection platform technology.
Sutherland is completing diligence for a client’s acquisition and licensing of a bead-based molecular bioarray nucleic acid detection platform technology.