Life Sciences


Leaders in the life sciences industry rely on Dechert to understand the business opportunities and challenges they face and provide real-world solutions.

Read our Case Study on how Dechert Helped Zealand Pharma Secure $50 million in alternative financing in a first-of-its-kind deal in Denmark.

We represent clients at all stages of their products’ lifecycle, from discovery through development, clinical testing, promotion and sales. Our life sciences team draws on the experience of our intellectual property, corporate, securities, antitrust, international trade, tax, employment and labor and litigation attorneys to offer a complete range of transactional, regulatory and dispute resolution services.

Our corporate and securities lawyers advise new and established companies on growth strategies, including financings, M&A deals and corporate partnering transactions, and counsel the investment banks and venture capital firms that support them. Our IP lawyers find smart and creative ways to maximize and protect the value and longevity of life sciences clients’ assets around the world. Dechert’s distinguished trial team – including one of the top product liability practices in the United States – defends clients in high-stakes product liability and securities-fraud class actions, infringement litigation and licensing disputes.

Whether guiding a start-up biotech firm through its first round of funding, licensing a medical device company’s patents or winning antitrust, securities or patent disputes, we approach each matter with the resources of a major international firm and the focus and depth of a boutique. That’s why Dechert is consistently recognized among the top legal advisers to the life sciences industry worldwide by legal directories such as Chambers and Practical Law Company.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Among the top M&A advisers recognized by the league tables of Corporate Control Alert, Bloomberg, mergermarket, Thomson Reuters and Mergerstat, Dechert lawyers negotiate and structure domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures strategic alliances and collaborative arrangements to enhance the development and commercialization of new technologies and scientific breakthroughs.


Dechert lawyers work closely with life sciences companies to capture and structure the capital they need to support the long development and commercialization process, ranging from early-stage venture financings and strategic equity investments to complex public offerings of equity and debt.

Integrated Approach to Strategic IP

Our life sciences IP counseling team works in concert with our transactional IP team, on IP-driven commercial transactions, including innovative strategic alliances, co-promotion agreements, discovery and development licenses, co-development arrangements, acquisitions and related due diligence, joint venture and other venture formation, and exclusive provider and distribution deals. We assist life sciences clients across a broad range of strategic intellectual property issues, including:

  • Worldwide patent portfolio management, IP procurement and enforcement
  • Post-grant proceedings, including appeals, reexaminations, and interferences
  • Oppositions and invalidity actions, as well as related appeals
  • Patentability, freedom-to-operate, non-infringement and invalidity analysis
  • IP portfolio valuation in connection with financings, collaborations and partnering
  • Structuring and restructuring of mature patent portfolios for opportunities to increase their value
  • Determining patent lifecycle strategies for developmental and clinical products
  • Peer review analysis of patent portfolios covering clinical and developmental products

    Working collaboratively with our IP litigators, we assist clients in devising enforcement and defense strategies. We also advise clients on the implications and impact court decisions, legislative proposals and newly enacted legislation will have on their intellectual property portfolios and strategy..

    Licensing and Corporate Partnering

    With a sharp eye on issues involving “competition through cooperation,” Dechert lawyers negotiate and structure agreements across the global supply chain to optimize financing, development, manufacturing and distribution for clients. We also negotiate and draft the full range of research, development and consulting agreements, venture formation and joint venture agreements, manufacturing and supply agreements, marketing and distribution agreements and technology transfer arrangements.

    Patent Counseling and Litigation

    Recognizing the dual imperative of maximizing patent portfolio value and aggressively protecting patents worldwide, we balance the issues, always striving to enhance our clients’ value and afford them the broadest protection. Many of our lawyers have advanced degrees in the technologies and sciences underlying our clients’ innovations, including Ph.D. and M.D. degrees. Applying that knowledge and skills developed through years of practice, we represent life sciences companies, including pharma and medical device companies, in their worldwide patent portfolio development, from prosecution and counseling to due diligence, licensing and infringement defense and avoidance, offering opinions and representing our clients in patent disputes before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in courts throughout the United States.


    Dechert lawyers excel in matters relating to the drug lifecycle and the Hatch-Waxman Act, government investigations, civil complaints, consumer cases, joint ventures, strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions.

    Mass Torts and Product Liability

    Dechert defends pharmaceutical and life sciences companies against allegations of defective or injurious products. Our trial lawyers are lead counsel in many of the most significant and difficult cases that challenge the life sciences industry. In 2009 and 2010, Dechert was honored with the Award for Excellence in the Product Liability category by Chambers USA.

    Internal Investigations, Securities Litigation and White Collar Defense

    As advisers to corporations, audit committees and senior executives, we resolve sensitive matters and help to keep our clients’ businesses on track. We guide our clients through complex internal investigations, defend them in parallel civil actions and negotiate the most advantageous outcomes for their businesses.