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Van W. Ellis

Washington D.C., (202) 887-8776
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Van Ellis is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office and a member of the firm’s Technology Transactions, Corporate, and Life Sciences groups.

Mr. Ellis has extensive experience in a wide variety of technology-based transactions and corporate matters in the life sciences field. Mr. Ellis routinely represents early stage and multinational life sciences companies, including their pharmaceuticals, biologics, diagnostics, medical device, vaccine, and consumer care/OTC divisions. He advises clients on the full range of transactions that arise during the life cycle of a product, from billion dollar global collaborations to daily commercial and operational matters. These transactions include arrangements in the areas of drug discovery, research and development, clinical trials, licensing of development stage and approved products, manufacturing and supply, marketing and co-promotion, technology transfers, strategic alliances and joint ventures. He also counsels clients in connection with initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, 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.

Prior to HHMI, Mr. Ellis was a partner at WilmerHale where he represented both public and private life sciences companies, such as Bayer and Emergent BioSolutions, on an array of commercial and intellectual property transactions and matters.

Mr. Ellis has long represented, on a pro bono basis, a number of organizations, including Horton's Kids, Inc. (a D.C.-based tutoring and mentoring organization serving children in Washington, D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood) and the national headquarters of PFLAG.