Sara A. Needles

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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: 202.662.5634
Fax: 202.778.5634






  • University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 2010
    • with high honors
    • Order of the Coif
    • North Carolina Law Review, Executive Articles Editor
  • Cambridge University, M.Phil., 2005
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 2002
    • summa cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Sara Needles is an associate in the Corporate and Life Sciences practice groups resident in the firm’s Washington, DC office.  Her practice focuses on transactions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, including acquisitions and divestitures of pharmaceutical companies and products, licensing, collaboration and joint venture arrangements and marketing and co-promotion agreements.  She also has experience drafting and negotiating other commercial contracts in the life sciences and technology industries, including manufacturing and supply agreements, consulting agreements, settlement agreements, as well as other general corporate and securities matters.

Representative Matters

  • AstraZeneca in its divestiture of worldwide rights to Ethyol® to Clinigen Group plc and its divestiture of rights to 17 formerly marketed injectable products to IGI Laboratories, Inc.
  • Asuragen, Inc., a privately held molecular diagnostics company, in connection with the sale of Asuragen’s miRInform Thyroid and Pancreas laboratory-developed cancer tests to Interpace Diagnostics, a subsidiary of PDI, Inc.
  • MedImmune, AstraZeneca's biologics arm, in its acquisition of Amplimmune for $225 million upfront and additional potential milestone payments
  • Actelion Ltd. in its acquisition of Ceptaris Therapeutics for $250 million upfront and additional royalty and potential milestone payments
  • Eisai Inc. in its divestiture of US rights to Gliadel® Wafer (polifeprosan 20 with carmustine implant) to Arbor Pharmaceuticals
  • Pharmaceutical company in structuring, drafting and negotiating collaboration transaction agreements
  • Pharmaceutical company in possible joint venture with a start-up biotechnology company
  • ExxonMobil in forming the Marine Well Containment Company, a joint venture created to respond to future deepwater well blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico
  • LIN Television Corporation in its issuance of $200 million of senior notes.

Previous Experience

  • Oxford University Press, Production Editor
  • Cambridge University Press, Project Manager

Pro Bono

  • Advising several Washington, DC-area non-profit organizations on corporate restructuring, governance matters and commercial real estate transactions.
  • Providing analysis and advice to governmental bodies on State practice relating to witness and victim protection mechanisms and war crimes prosecution.

Publications and Speeches

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