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Leading Life Sciences Lawyer Joins Covington

June 20, 2016

WASHINGTONVan Ellis has joined Covington as a partner in its life sciences transactions practice, resident in Washington.

Mr. Ellis has extensive experience in a wide variety of technology-based transactions and corporate matters in the life sciences field, from billion-dollar global collaborations to daily commercial and operational matters. He also counsels clients in connection with initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. His clients range from early stage companies to multinational corporations, and include pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical device, medtech, diagnostics, vaccine, and consumer care/OTC businesses. His current practice focuses significantly on Europe- and Asia-based life sciences companies, and in particular, he works extensively with Japanese pharmaceutical companies and on partnering transactions into the Japanese life sciences market.

“Welcoming Van to the life sciences transactions practice further enhances our ability to keep pace with the increased deal activity in life sciences,” said John Hurvitz, co-chair of Covington's Life Sciences Industry Group. “Van has focused on global and cross-border life sciences transactions for more than 15 years, and his experience advising clients in complex collaborations, M&A, and commercial agreements will help us continue to grow our practice in the United States and Asia.”

In addition to his extensive experience in private practice as a law firm partner, Mr. Ellis previously served as Associate General Counsel of the Howard Hughes Institute, a non-profit biomedical research organization. In that role, he advised on research collaborations, spin-outs, licensing, and other legal matters arising at 85 academic research laboratories located at 12 research universities and medical centers. He also oversaw the development and implementation of policies governing the conduct of clinical trials and other human subjects research, and advised on the formation and launch of a joint venture in South Africa to research co-infection of HIV and tuberculosis.

“I'm thrilled to join Covington's dynamic, global life sciences team,” said Mr. Ellis. “The depth of Covington's life sciences practice is unmatched, and I look forward to working with such a cutting-edge transactional practice.”

Mr. Ellis received an A.B. summa cum laude from Duke University and a J.D. with high honors  from Duke Law School. Upon graduation, he clerked for Judge John D. Butzner, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Covington offers one of the largest and most comprehensive life sciences industry-focused practices in the world. The firm’s clients span all industry sectors and range from startup ventures to multinational corporations and trade associations. Covington’s life sciences lawyers advise clients throughout a product’s life cycle, going beyond the traditional legal services offered by other firms to facilitate efficient and effective research and development, ensure successful launch and commercialization, and maximize the product’s franchise. The firm’s multi-disciplinary, life cycle management approach enables lawyers quickly to understand clients’ regulatory, intellectual property and commercial goals, identify potential issues and develop creative and novel approaches to maximize value for clients.


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