Theresa Kavanaugh is a senior partner in the firm’s nationally recognized Life Sciences Group. Her practice focuses on developing and implementing complex patent and market exclusivity strategies with a focus on chemical and biologic therapeutics. Her practice includes patent portfolio management in anticipation of product approval, company partnering, M&A, and financing events.




Dr. Kavanaugh has significant experience in developing patent strategies throughout the developmental life cycle of chemical and biologic therapeutics, and has shepherded patent strategies from early stage patent development for discovery programs through post approval patent strategy for FDA-approved therapeutics. Her client counseling includes FDA Orange Book listing strategy and ANDA preparation for small molecules, biosimilar strategy for biologics, patent term extension strategy, and preparing for and conducting post grant patent review procedures, including Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings at the USPTO. She has extensive technical expertise with pharmaceutical and small molecule therapeutics; protein, antisense and other biologic therapies; diagnostic and drug discovery platform technologies, microbiome modulator technology; polymer chemistry; drug delivery and extended release formulations; materials science; and chemical process technologies.

Representative Matters



Patent Counseling
  • Proteostasis Therapeutics on patent prosecution matters and strategy relating to its cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator small molecule program, including patent matters related to its $50 million initial public offering and $65 million follow-on public offering
  • Aptinyx on patent matters relating to NMDA small molecule modulators, including patent matters related to its $65 million Series A financing
  • Zafgen Inc. on patent portfolio strategy and patent matters relating to its MetAP-2 inhibitor small molecule program and its $96 million public offering and subsequent $137 million follow-on public offering
  • Nogra Pharma Ltd. (Ireland) on patent portfolio strategy and patent matters relating to small molecule therapeutics including PPARg modulators; IL-34 technology; and SMAD7 antisense therapy.
  • AMAG Pharmaceuticals on patent matters relating to its marketed products and its $201 million follow-on and $225 convertible note offerings
  • Aegerion Pharmaceuticals on patent matters relating to the approved small molecule lomitapide and BLA approved product metreleptin
  • Neuroderm Ltd. (Israel) on patent matters relating to its CNS small molecule therapeutics and its IPO and recent follow-on offering
  • Full life cycle patent strategy on behalf of a pharmaceutical company with a recently approved orphan drug
  • Early stage platform and discovery stage patent strategies for several pharmaceutical and biological therapeutic companies
  • Post grant review challenges on patents relating to approved products
  • Preparation of the published patent application that includes the CAS Registry 100 millionth substance, (4S)-6-(4-chlorophenyl)-N-ethyl-8-[2-[[4[hydroxydimethylsilyl)-methyl]benzoyl]amino]ethoxy]-1-methyl-4H-[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-a][1,4]benzodiazepine-4-acetamide
Patent Due Diligence/M&A
  • Nogra Pharma Ltd. (Ireland) on patent portfolio strategy and patent matters relating to its agreement with Celgene Corporation for an oral, SMAD7 antisense therapy for Crohn’s disease; the agreement includes one of the largest upfront payments for a licensing deal in the last 10 years
  • Aegerion Pharmaceuticals on patent matters related to its merger with Novelion (QLT)
  • Naurex Inc. on patent portfolio development and patent matters relating to its NMDA small molecule and peptidyl programs and in connection with its recent $560 million merger with Allergan PLC
  • BIND Therapeutics on patent matters relating to its nanomedicine platform, its initial public offering on the NASDAQ Stock Market and its subsequent acquisition by Pfizer
  • Avila Therapeutics on patent matters relating to its merger with Celgene Corporation
Professional Activities

Dr. Kavanaugh is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Boston Patent Law Association and the American Chemical Society.


Dr. Kavanaugh has been consistently recognized as a leading life science patent attorney, including selection for yearly inclusion since 2013 in U.S. News-Best Lawyers for her work in the area of biotech law. She was named the 2014 Life Sciences IP Attorney of the Year in Massachusetts by Corporate Intl magazine, and has been recognized yearly as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer “Rising Star” since 2009.

In The News







J.D., 2005
Northeastern University School of Law
Ph.D., Chemistry, 1992
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.L.I.S., 1997
Simmons College
M.S., Chemistry, 1987
The University of Texas at Austin
B.S., Chemistry, 1986
University of California



U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
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