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Covington & Burling LLP

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John Hurvitz

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Covington & Burling LLP

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John Hurvitz is a trusted adviser to many leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and smaller, emerging companies, which he counsels on a range of corporate, commercial, partnering, and advisory matters. He has extensive experience structuring, negotiating, and documenting sophisticated, multidisciplinary, cross-border collaborations, and M&A transactions, for clients in the US, Europe, and Asia. He also provides strategic advice in enhancing performance management, dispute resolution, and identifying industry best practices in connection with transactional matters. He co-chairs Covington’s Life Sciences Industry Group and is vice-chair of its Corporate Group.


Salomon Brothers, Mergers & Acquisitions; Georgetown University Law Center, Food and Drug Law, Adjunct Professor.


Yale Law School, J.D., 1991.

United States: Industry focus

Healthcare: life sciences

Within: Leading lawyers

John Hurvitz - Covington & Burling LLP

Within: Healthcare: life sciences

The ‘top-drawer’ life sciences practice at Covington & Burling LLP is singled out for its ‘fantastic technical ability’, its ‘deep industry knowledge’, and its capacity to ‘draw resources from across its organization and present it as a single team’. It has an exceptional regulatory and corporate practice, regularly acting for major global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on a range of commercial agreements supporting a product life cycle. The group’s regulatory capability was enhanced by the arrival of Los Angeles-based Wade Ackerman, who joined from the US Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. The team represented a major pharmaceutical company in an investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding alleged off-label marketing of pharmaceutical products. On the transactional front, John Hurvitz advised AbbVie on its global collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim for an anti-IL-23 monoclonal biological antibody and, in another deal, assisted AbbVie with its $5.8bn acquisition of Stemcentrx and its rovalpituzumab compound for small cell lung cancer. Silicon Valley-based Emily Leonard counts Astellas, Foundation Medicine and Gilead among her clients; she recently assisted Medarex in collaborating with a Japanese pharmaceutical company over the cross-licensing of platform technologies. Senior counsels Richard Kingham, Peter Safir, Peter Barton Hutt, and partners Denise Esposito and Ellen Flannery are the key names to note in the regulatory and compliance space. Patent litigator Jeffrey Lerner and Hatch-Waxman litigation specialist George Pappas are also highly recommended. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

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United States: Intellectual property

Patents: licensing

Within: Leading lawyers

John Hurvitz - Covington & Burling LLP

Within: Patents: licensing

Covington & Burling LLP has an outstanding record in the life sciences space and advises numerous multinational pharmaceutical companies with their large global collaborations and cross-border licensing deals. The ‘knowledgeableJohn Hurvitz in Washington DC co-heads the life sciences industry team, which assisted AbbVie with its global collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop and commercialize BI 655066, an anti-IL-23 monoclonal biologic antibody for psoriasis in Phase 3 development, and acted for Allergan in a licensing and collaboration transaction with Heptares Therapeutics. Other names to note are Silicon Valley-based corporate and IP partner Emily Leonard, who focuses on advising pharmaceutical and biotech clients on licensing and technology transfer arrangements, and San Francisco-based Amy Toro, who specializes in technology transactions.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Commercial deals and contracts

Within: Commercial deals and contracts

The ‘excellent’ attorneys at Covington & Burling LLPdeliver candid and thoughtful advice and can draw on great strength in depth’. The firm advised AbbVie on its global collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim for the development of a monoclonal biologic antibody for the treatment of psoriasis, and acted for Allergan in a licensing and collaboration agreement with Heptares Therapeutics, whereby the client acquired a portfolio of novel subtype-selective muscarinic receptor agonists for the treatment of major neurological disorders. Other clients include Blueprint Medicines, for which it acted in the renegotiation of its collaboration with Ventana for the development of companion diagnostic arrays for the client’s therapeutic products. It also acted for Sanofi in connection with the launch of a joint venture with Verily Life Sciences to develop a diabetes management platform. John Hurvitz, senior counsel Richard Kingham, Emily Leonard, Scott Danzis and Matthew O’Connor chair the life sciences industry group, in which key figures also include Catherine Dargan, Michael Riella, of counsel Sarah Hoagland and Van Ellis, who joined from Morrison & Foerster LLP in June 2016. All those named are based in Washington DC, except for Leonard, who works in Silicon Valley. The firm also has a presence in San Francisco.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Technology: transactions

Within: Technology: transactions

Covington & Burling LLP is highly rated for its experience in the air transportation, life sciences, broadcasting and technology sectors, as well as financial services, energy and sports-related deals. The practice is co-led by New York’s Nigel Howard and Washington DC-based John Hurvitz; Howard advised Teva on its strategic partnership with IBM, which enabled Teva to become the first multinational pharmaceutical company to deploy IBM’s Watson Health Cloud as its global technology platform. The team also acted for Malaysia Airlines in its agreement with Amadeus, known for global travel technology, for a new passenger service system; and advised Ascension Health, the largest non profit health system in the US, on its long-term revenues cycle outsourcing agreement. Other recommended advisers include Washington DC-based Lee Tiedrich; Silicon Valley’s Scott Anthony, Emily Leonard and Robyn Polashuk; and San Francisco-based Ingrid Rechtin, Amy Toro and James Snipes.

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