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Van W. Ellis
Partner
Washington +1 202 662 5734 vellis@cov.com Download V-card

Van Ellis advises biopharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics and consumer care companies across the full range of transactions that arise during the life cycle of a product, including major collaborations, licensing arrangements, clinical trial agreements, and a variety of commercial agreements. Mr. Ellis represents both multinational and early stage life sciences companies on matters ranging from billion dollar global collaborations to daily commercial and operational matters.

  • Represented Alcon, the eye care division of Novartis, in a major collaboration with Google to develop and commercialize a glucose sensing contact lens for use by diabetic patients and an accommodating intraocular and contact lenses to restore the eye’s autofocus.
  • Represented Astellas Pharma Inc. in major transactions, including its:
    • strategic alliance with Amgen to co-develop and co-commercialize in Japan four biologics and one small molecule drug through a newly established joint venture, Amgen Astellas BioPharma KK;
    • collaboration with Mitokyne to discover and develop drugs targeting mitochondria-related diseases, with Mitokyne leading the R&D activities and Astellas assuming all clinical development and commercial activities, including an option that allows for the future acquisition of Mitokyne by Astellas on pre-determined terms at the end of the collaboration period;
    • collaboration with Potenza Therapeutics to develop immune-oncology therapeutics, with Potenza leading the R&D activities and Astellas assuming all clinical development and commercial activities, including an option that allows for the future acquisition of Potenza by Astellas on pre-determined terms at the end of the collaboration period; and
    • agreement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to research and develop a monoclonal antibody drug for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Represented Bayer AG and its U.S. affiliates for over a decade in more than a dozen major transactions, including:
    • Bayer AG’s auction-style negotiations to select a global development and U.S. marketing partner for its oral anticoagulant Xarelto, which resulted in an arrangement with Johnson & Johnson;
    • Bayer AG’s auction-style negotiations to select a marketing partner for its drug Levitra, which resulted in a worldwide co-promotion and co-marketing arrangement with GlaxoSmithKline plc.; and
    • Bayer AG’s $475 million drug discovery alliance with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Represented Durata Therapeutics in license and supply agreement with Angelini Group for the commercialization of dalbavancin in 36 European and Asian countries.    
  • Represented Edison Pharmaceuticals in two separate collaborations with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co.: the first for the research, development and commercialization of orphan mitochondrial and adult central nervous system disease drugs in Japan; and the second, a follow-on strategic alliance valued at over $4 billion for the development of drugs targeting cellular energy metabolism.

Pro Bono

  • Mr. Ellis has represented, for many years, a number of organizations, including Horton's Kids, Inc. (a DC-based tutoring and mentoring organization serving children in Washington, DC's Anacostia neighborhood) and the national headquarters of PFLAG.

Previous Experience

  • Mr. Ellis was an Associate General Counsel at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a non-profit biomedical research organization with an endowment of over $16 billion. Mr. Ellis advised HHMI on research collaborations, spin-outs, licensing, and other legal matters arising at 85 academic research laboratories located at 12 research universities and medical centers, including HHMI’s laboratories at Yale, MIT, NYU, Rockefeller, UCSF, UCSD, and the Salk Institute. Mr. Ellis 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.
  • Legal 500 US, Healthcare: Life Sciences (2015)
  • LMG Life Sciences, Named a “Life Science Star” (2012-2015)
  • Recombinant Capital’s Breakthrough Alliance Award Nominee, Infinity Pharmaceuticals' collaboration with MedImmune to develop and commercialize small molecule cancer drugs (Represented Infinity Pharmaceuticals) (2006)
  • 1999 Award Winner, Bayer AG's drug discovery alliance with Millennium Pharmaceuticals (Represented Bayer AG)