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Press Release

Minnesota Lawyer Named Teresa A. Lavoie and Dorothy P. Whelan "2017 Attorneys of the Year"

November 30, 2017

Press Release

Minnesota Lawyer Named Teresa A. Lavoie and Dorothy P. Whelan "2017 Attorneys of the Year"

November 30, 2017

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Fish & Richardson principals Teresa A. Lavoie, Ph.D. and Dorothy P. Whelan have been named “2017 Attorneys of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer for their notable achievements over the past year. They will receive their awards on February 7, 2018 at a special awards ceremony.

Dr. Lavoie is well known for developing valuable patent portfolios for life sciences companies that invent breakthrough therapeutics, diagnostics and disruptive platform technologies. Most recently, Dr. Lavoie’s client, Loxo Oncology, signed a $1.5 billion deal with Bayer on November 14, 2017 giving them partial U.S. rights to two drugs (with an upfront payment of $400 million to Loxo) that target tumors with a specific genetic signature regardless of what body part they originated in. Dr. Lavoie has been handling Loxo’s worldwide patent strategy since 2014. For biopharma immunotherapy startup IFM Therapeutics, Dr. Lavoie and her team filed 47 patent applications in the year before Bristol-Myers Squibb acquired two of IFM’s oncology programs in a deal valued at $2.3 billion in August 2017.

Whelan co-chairs the Post-Grant Practice at Fish, which is the most active firm at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). She has overseen approximately 30 life sciences inter partes reviews (IPR) over the past year. Whelan achieved three much-heralded IPR wins in 2017 for client Coherus BioSciences, a leading developer of high quality biosimilar therapeutics. Whelan’s IPR wins invalidated three patents covering competitor AbbVie’s blockbuster biologic drug Humira®, the highest-selling drug in 2016 with $16 billion in global sales. As the first-ever IPR decisions that invalidated patents for Humira, Whelan’s work is now a model for how other biosimilar patents can be successfully attacked and challenged.

Dr. Lavoie chairs Fish’s EMPOWER women’s initiative and is a member of the firm’s Compensation Committee. She also co-chairs the Equity Committee for Minnesota Women Lawyers and serves as an adjunct professor of biotechnology patent law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Dr. Lavoie also created The Anna E. Lavoie Memorial Lectureship at Providence College, in tribute to her late mother, to encourage undergraduates to consider career paths in the sciences through interaction with distinguished scientists and other professionals. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2002, her Ph.D. (1996) and M.A. (1993) from Princeton University, and her B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Providence College in 1989.

Whelan has served on Fish’s Management Committee and Compensation Committee. She writes and speaks extensively on topics related to post-grant proceedings and is the co-host of Fish’s Post-Grant for Practitioners webinar series, as well as being a frequent speaker and panelist at industry and legal seminars. She is also a frequent contributor to the firm’s dedicated post-grant website, www.fishpostgrant.com. Whelan received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston College Law School in 1987, her S.M. in polymers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984 and her B.S. in chemistry from Yale University in 1981.