Edward C. Britton


Download V-card

Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: 202.662.5248






  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1983
    • cum laude
  • Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, B.A./M.A., 1981
    • First Class Honours
  • Princeton University, A.B., 1977
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Harrison L. Winter, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1981-1982

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Edward Britton is a corporate partner resident in the firm’s Washington office.  He concentrates in strategic licensing, partnering, and joint ventures; mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures; and corporate finance and venture capital.  His practice emphasizes multi-jurisdictional transactions, and he has broad experience in the types of issues that such transactions raise.  He also regularly advises clients on corporate, securities and commercial issues and assists clients on general compliance matters.

From 2003 to 2008, Mr. Britton was resident in the firm’s London office, where he served as managing partner.

The clients with which Mr. Britton works are in a wide range of industries, including life sciences, consumer products, and government services.

Mr. Britton has particular experience in meeting the specialized corporate, commercial and transactional need of clients in the life sciences industry.  For over 15 years he has worked closely with life sciences clients on corporate, commercial and strategic matters, including licensing and collaboration transactions; financing and investments; acquisitions, divestitures and other strategic corporate transactions; and securities reporting and compliance matters.

Representative Matters

  • Salix Pharmaceuticals in its $2.6 billion acquisition of Nasdaq-listed Santarus, Inc.; in its acquisition of certain rifaximin-related assets from Olon S.p.A.; in its $300 million acquisition of Oceana Therapeutics; in its acquisition of worldwide (except for Japan) rights to the Relistor® product from Progenics Pharmaceuticals; in its worldwide collaboration with Photocure ASA for the development and commercialization of a photodynamic diagnostic technology; in settlements of Hatch-Waxman litigation against Novel Laboratories and Actavis; in its collaboration with Lupin Ltd. in respect of rifaximin-containing products; in its worldwide collaboration with Napo Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of crofelemer as an anti-diarrhetic, together with a related equity investment by Salix in Napo, and a related manufacture and supply agreement between Salix and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals; and in respect of numerous supply, manufacturing, clinical trial and clinical study, services, and other agreements.
  • Medarex (now a part of Bristol-Myers Squibb) in global collaborations with Epicyte Pharmaceuticals and Immusol to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize monoclonal antibody products.
  • Chiron (now Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics) in an in-license from Coley Pharmaceutical Group (now part of Pfizer).
  • Seragen, a Nasdaq-listed biotech, in the restructuring of its Canadian affiliate Seragen Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., the sale of certain company assets to Marathon Biopharmaceuticals, and the acquisition of Seragen by Ligand Pharmaceuticals.
  • Zycos in multiple venture capital financings, commercial transactions, and the sale of the company to MGI Pharma (now a subsidiary of Eisai).
  • Eisai Co., Ltd. in the reorganization of its North American affiliates.

Previous Experience

  • U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman James P. Johnson, Legislative Assistant (1977-1978)

Honors and Rankings

  • LMG Life Sciences, "Life Science Star" (2013)

Pro Bono

  • Representation of District of Columbia prisoners held in federal prisons in connection with new parole hearings to which they became entitled under Sellmon v. Reilly, 551 F.Supp.2d 66 (D.D.C. 2008).
  • Legal counsel to the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation of the District of Columbia.

Publications and Speeches

  • "Structuring Equity Investments as Part of the Collaboration Transaction," Delivered as part of Transactions in the Life Sciences Sector, London, England (2007)
  • "Acquisitions and Partnering - Know Your Target," Life Sciences Law & Business, Vol. 1, Issue 5 (December 2004/January 2005), Co-Author
  • "Equity Investment," Delivered as part of Pharmaceutical Law Summer School, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England (Summer 2004)
Print PDF Word Version Print this page