John Hurvitz

John A. Hurvitz

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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5319
Fax: +1 202 778 5319



  • Yale Law School, J.D., 1991
    • Coker Fellow
    • The Yale Law & Policy Review, Executive Editor 
  • Haverford College, B.A., 1986
    • magna cum laude
    • departmental honors
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Queens' College Cambridge, 1985

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Louis F. Oberdorfer, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 1991-1992

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

John Hurvitz co-chairs Covington's Life Sciences Industry Group, heads the firm's Technology Transactions Group and is vice-chair of the firm’s Corporate Group.

Mr. Hurvitz is a trusted advisor to both established and emerging life sciences companies, providing not only transactional counsel but also strategic advice with respect to business development, asset management, performance enhancement, dispute resolution under existing collaborations, industry best practices and other benchmarking advice.  His clients and deal experience extend throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as well to emerging markets and include all segments of the industry—pharma, biotech, medtech, diagnostics, animal health, vaccines and health services.

For nearly 20 years, Mr. Hurvitz's practice has focused exclusively on meeting the specialized corporate, commercial, and transactional needs of the life sciences industry.  As a registered US patent attorney with an undergraduate degree in biology and substantial food and drug regulatory experience, Mr. Hurvitz brings a unique multidisciplinary approach to the complex nexus of commercial, regulatory, and intellectual property issues that confront the industry.

Mr. Hurvitz has extensive experience structuring and negotiating mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and all manner of commercial and partnering transactions in the industry.  His experience representing both innovators and acquirers of technology across a range of transactions enables him to assist clients both in finding practical solutions to their most complex problems and in efficiently and cost-effectively handling routine corporate and commercial matters.

Representative Matters

  • Merck in connection with the sale of its Consumer Care Business to Bayer AG for $14.2 billion. 
  • AbbVie in a novel collaboration with the Google-backed life sciences start-up company Calico focused on aging and age-related diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Regeneron in an agreement with Bayer Healthcare to jointly develop an innovative antibody for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
  • Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company in a collaboration agreement with Mersana to develop next-generation antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) using Mersana’s proprietary Fleximer technology.
  • AstraZeneca in its global agreement with Pfizer to switch AstraZeneca’s blockbuster GI drug, Nexium, to over-the-counter, which involved an upfront payment of $250 million as well a right of first refusal to switch another of AstraZeneca’s Rx Products.
  • Eli Lilly in its agreement to terminate its alliance with Amylin Pharmaceuticals for Byetta and Bydureon and to resolve the outstanding litigation between the companies, involving a two-year transition of responsibilities outside the US and payments of up to $1.6 billion.
  • AstraZeneca in an agreement with Moderna Therapeutics to develop and commercialize pioneering messenger RNA therapeutics for the treatment of serious cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal diseases, as well as cancer, which involved an upfront payment of $240 million and up to an additional $180 million in technical milestones.
  • Eisai in an agreement with Epizyme and Roche Molecular Systems to collaborate on the development of a companion diagnostic to advance personalized therapeutics for patients with lymphomas possessing genetic mutations in the epigenetic enzyme EZH2.
  • Takeda in its acquisition of Intellikine, a privately-held company focused on the discovery and development of innovative, small molecule drugs, for $190 million at closing and up to $120 million in additional potential clinical development milestone payments.
  • AstraZeneca in its agreement with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to develop and market Ironwood’s linaclotide in China.

Previous Experience

  • Salomon Brothers, Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Group, Financial Analyst
  • Georgetown University Law Center, Food and Drug Law, Adjunct Professor

Honors and Rankings

  • Chambers USA, recognized for Life Sciences Corporate/Commercial (Band 1)
  • Chambers Global, recognized as a leading lawyer for Life Sciences Corporate/Commercial
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers   
  • Best Lawyers in America, recognized for FDA
  • Law360, Life Sciences “MVP”   
  • Who's Who Legal, Life Sciences – Transactional
  • Legal 500 US, “Leading Lawyer” – Healthcare: Life Sciences
  • PLC Which Lawyer?, consistently recognized as a "leading commercial and partnering" lawyer, and one of only five "leading" corporate partnering lawyers in the US.
  • LMG Life Sciences, “Life Science Star”
  • IAM Patent 1000 - The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners

Pro Bono

  • Advisor, World Bank and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in their efforts on behalf of the G7/8 to develop and implement a pilot Advance Market Commitment (AMC) to stimulate the development and introduction of new vaccines to address critical unmet health needs in the developing world, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
  • Member, Expert Group on AMCs convened by the World Bank and GAVI to advise on the design and implementation of an AMC pilot project.
  • Member, Global Health Forecasting Working Group, convened by the Policy Research Network at the Center for Global Development to analyze demand forecasting for health products, with a particular emphasis on products that are procured largely with external funding, to identify areas for improvement and to develop analytically-based policy recommendations.
  • Outside Counsel, Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. Assisting the Enterprise with corporate structure, governance and other matters.
  • Outside Counsel, Zero to Three, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the healthy development of infants and toddlers by supporting and strengthening families, communities, and those who work on their behalf.
  • Legal Advisor, Consortium for Child Welfare, the association of the non-governmental child welfare organizations serving the District of Columbia. Represented the Consortium in its efforts to overhaul the child welfare laws and create a dedicated family division within the Superior Court in the District of Columbia.
  • On behalf of the District of Columbia Bar’s Community Economic Development Project, prepared a comprehensive legal practice and issues manual for non-profit day care centers and provided training for attorneys who agreed to represent non-profit day care centers on a pro bono basis so as to help stimulate the creation of high quality, affordable day care in the District of Columbia for low- and moderate-income families.
  • Legal Advisor, Housing and Urban Development Occupancy Task Force on People with Disabilities in Public Housing. Advised the Task Force in connection with its efforts to improve access to public housing and related services for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities.
  • On behalf of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, successfully represented a multi-ethnic group of highly prominent Bosnian citizens in their efforts to obtain political asylum in the United States at the height of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Haverford College, member of the Corporation

Publications and Speeches

Mr. Hurvitz is a frequent speaker and lecturer on issues affecting the life sciences industry both in the United States and Europe. He has chaired numerous conferences in the United States and Europe and has spoken on a range of issues at BIO and other industry conferences. He also has served as an expert adviser to the Federal Trade Commission on life sciences transactional matters and has presented at Congressional briefings on matters related to Global Health.
  • "Planning for Joint Promotion," Legal Times (6/20/2005), Author
  • "Vaccine Advance-Purchase Agreements for Low-Income Countries: Practical Issues," 24 Health Affairs 653 (2005), Co-Author
  • "Acquisitions and Partnering - Know Your Target," Life Sciences Law & Business, Vol. 1, Issue 5 (December 2004/January 2005), Co-Author
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