Intellectual versatility combined with incisive, pragmatic counseling and business acumen has become the hallmark of Dr. Catherine Polizzi’s practice.
Dr. Polizzi helps emerging and established companies through the challenging process of obtaining patents, and providing strategic, effective portfolio counseling and management, as well as strategic advice surrounding freedom of operation and other forms of IP assessment. She develops valuable, strategic portfolios around breakthrough therapies in a variety of areas, including cancer, cancer immunotherapy, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. She also has significant experience in a wide spectrum of technology areas, including biologics (such as antibodies and polypeptides), nucleic acids, precision medicine, diagnostics, cell therapy including T cell technologies such as chimeric antigen receptors, drug formulation technologies, drug delivery technologies such as nanotechnologies, microfluidics, drug screening systems, amplification technologies, genetic screening, regenerative medicine, nutraceuticals, spectroscopy, and organic chemistry including small molecule drugs. Her unique background, ability to integrate IP with a given business model to translate into meaningful risk assessment and advice, and highly effective communication skills in critical settings such as R&D, all phases of product development, and investment contexts, enable Dr. Polizzi to provide effective, creative solutions to the significant challenges often faced by clients.
IP Leadership for Transactions, Financings, and Acquisitions. Dr. Polizzi’s practice also includes due diligence evaluation and counseling in the context of venture investment assessments and in connection with public and private financing, spin-offs, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions, where her IP strategies have helped drive the value of multibillion dollar deals. Representative transactions resulting from Dr. Polizzi’s leadership include the $14 billion acquisition by Pfizer of client Medivation, as well as the previous $225 million Pfizer investment in Medivation; Myriad Genetics' $375 million acquisition of Counsyl, Inc.; Celgene Corporation’s $9 billion acquisition of client Juno Therapeutics and earlier $2.9 billion acquisition of client Abraxis BioScience. Dr. Polizzi was retained by both Pfizer and Celgene for ongoing patent strategy and counseling work on the existing patent portfolios and with expanded representation of the parent companies following these acquisitions. Other representative transactions where her astute leadership has proved invaluable include Shiseido’s acquisition of client Olivo Laboratories; Pfizer’s acquisition of client Rinat Neuroscience; Alpine Immune Sciences’ $48 million Series A financing and subsequent $90 million merger with Nivalis Therapeutics, resulting in a publicly traded company; SQZ Biotech’s $72 million Series C financing; and Lyndra Therapeutics’ $55 million Series B financing.
Strategist in Legal Challenges and a Key Member of Litigation Teams. In addition to helping create value and commercialize her clients’ technologies, Dr. Polizzi devises strategies and defenses to fortify their patents in the event of legal challenges by competitors. Accordingly, she renders advice on all aspects of patent positioning, including opinions on patentability, validity, freedom of operation, infringement, and competitor IP evaluation. She also works in the area of third-party challenges, such as inter partes review (IPR) and oppositions.
A Recognized Leader. From 2006 through 2009, Dr. Polizzi served as the chair of the firm’s Patent Prosecution & Counseling Group and co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. Chambers USA noted that Dr. Polizzi “maintains a strong reputation for her capabilities advising biotechnology clients on portfolio management and other IP matters,” while clients find her “refreshing [for] her tactical advice.” Dr. Polizzi has also received the following awards and accolades:
Dr. Polizzi is patent counsel to numerous publicly traded and privately held companies, with many new client relationships resulting from her strong reputation in the life sciences industry. A selection of her representative matters include the following:
Chambers USA 2013-2019Life Sciences - IP/Patent Litigation; Intellectual Property – Patent Prosecution
Dr. Polizzi is recognized by clients for being “a great strategic thinker, great at flagging the high-level questions and brings a good business perspective” and for “bring[ing] a good business perspective to IP efforts which is not always evident with other IP attorneys.” (Chambers USA 2019)
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