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Fish & Richardson’s growing San Diego bio-pharma team

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During The Daily Transcript’s recent biotech roundtable, the participants shared an optimistic view of the future of the local biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Law firm Fish & Richardson shares this optimism and has expanded its San Diego team to accommodate the growing demand for experienced biotech and pharmaceutical attorneys.

Fish has significant expertise representing pioneers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences fields for more than a century. In recent years, the firm has been named the top U.S. law firm for life sciences and biotechnology work by Managing Intellectual Property magazine, and was recently named to a top spot on the Legal 500 list of top firms for life sciences.

Over the past two years, Fish has handled 14 new patent cases based on Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDA), in which branded pharmaceutical companies that sell patented drugs are pitted against generics seeking to enter the market. In 2009 alone, Fish filed nine new ANDA cases. These cases are quite large and very complex, and are well suited to the firm's broad based technical expertise. In San Diego, litigator Juanita Brooks has seen her bio and pharma client list grow quickly in recent years, and her docket now includes a large number of Hatch-Waxman cases. Clients are drawn to Brooks’ success handing these cases. In 2009, she represented Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN) in a major Hatch-Waxman case against manufacturers of a generic copy of a patented Allergan glaucoma drug. Brooks’ victory protects Allergan’s drug from generic competition for 12 more years. The media noted that the ruling is worth a “few billion dollars.”

Southern California managing principal and firm-wide hiring principal Roger Denning, realizing the significance of the bio and pharma industries in the region, recruited experienced attorneys to San Diego to increase the Fish team. Like Brooks, Denning has expanded his expertise in the area and has several ANDA trials scheduled over the next year.

Jon Singer, a litigator and head of the firm’s pharmaceutical and biotech litigation practice, is currently splitting his practice between Twin Cities and the local Fish office with the intent of eventually moving to San Diego full-time. Singer specializes in the litigation and trial of cases under the Hatch-Waxman act for branded drug manufacturers. Viewed as a leader in representing bio and pharma companies, Singer authored “Biotechnology: Patent Prosecution, Licensing, Litigation & Hatch-Waxman” for the Patent Resources Group and has lectured extensively on legal issues specifically relevant to these industries.

Also joining the San Diego office from Twin Cities is Teresa Lavoie. As a member of Fish’s patent prosecution team, Lavoie counsels clients on strategic portfolio development, including the integration of life cycle management strategies, with an emphasis in pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, drug formulation and drug delivery technologies. Her clients include academic institutions, startup and emerging companies, and established pharma and biotech companies. She is one of 80 Ph.D.s on Fish’s staff of nearly 400 attorneys in 11 offices nationwide and in Europe.

Submitted by Fish & Richardson

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