Theresa Kavanaugh is a senior partner in the firm’s nationally recognized Life Sciences group, and a leader in Goodwin’s Late Stage Drug Development practice. Ms. Kavanaugh has been consistently recognized as a leading life science patent attorney by numerous legal guides including selection for yearly inclusion since 2013 in U.S. News-Best Lawyers and selection as an LMG Life Science star. Her practice focuses on developing and implementing complex patent and market exclusivity strategies with a focus on extending exclusivity for chemical and biologic therapeutics, especially for therapeutics in phase 3 clinical trials or with recent regulatory approval. Her practice includes patent portfolio management in anticipation of product approval, company partnering, M&A, and financing events, including public offerings.





Dr. Kavanaugh has significant experience in developing patent strategies throughout the developmental life cycle of chemical therapeutics, with a special focus on small molecule, antisense and peptide therapies, as well as biologic therapeutics including engineered foods, diagnostics and nutraceuticals. She has shepherded early stage patent development for discovery programs to post approval patent strategy for FDA-approved therapeutics — and then successfully through post grant and litigation challenge. Her strategic patent counseling, which has helped her clients achieve significant funding from acquisitions, public market offerings and private investments as well as extension of market exclusivity for approved therapeutics, includes patentability, freedom to operate analyses, 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; alternative food and nutraceutical technologies, drug delivery and extended release formulations; materials science; and chemical process technologies. Clients also benefit from her experience on IP matters as part of initial public offerings and venture investments.

Representative Matters



Patent Counseling
  • Pre-ANDA strategy for extending patent term and exclusivities relating to a marketed small molecule therapeutic
  • Aptinyx on patent matters relating to NMDA small molecule modulators, including patent matters leading to its $65 million Series A financing, and its recent IPO
  • Assembly Biosciences on patent matters relating to its HBV and microbiome programs and its $69 million public follow-on offering
  • Ascentage Pharma on patent matters relating U.S. patent strategy and its $53 million initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • BridgeBio Pharma and subsidiary companies on patent portfolio strategy for orphan genetic diseases leading to its NASDAQ 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, including Feraheme®, and its $201 million follow-on and $225 convertible note offerings
  • Naurex Inc. on patent portfolio development and patent matters relating to its NMDA small molecule and peptidyl programs and in connection with its $560 million merger with Allergan PLC
  • Aegerion Pharmaceuticals on patent matters relating to the approved small molecule lomitapide and BLA approved product metreleptin; including representing the licensor/patent owner in an inter partes review involving patents directed to a novel dosing regimen for lomitapide, with Final Written Decisions upholding the validity of the patents (Coalition for Affordable Drugs VIII, LLC v. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania)
  • Neuroderm Ltd. (Israel) on patent matters relating to its CNS small molecule therapeutics, its U.S. IPO and later acquisition by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Company for an equity value of approximately $1.1 billion
  • Proteostasis Therapeutics on patent prosecution matters and strategy relating to its cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator small molecule program, including patent matters leading to its $50 million initial public offering and $65 million  and $40 million follow-on public offerings
  • 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
  • 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
Professional Activities

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


Ms. Kavanaugh has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for her work in Patent Law, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice  2022. 

Ms. Kavanaugh was recognized for her work in MA – Prosecution in 2021 by The IAM Patent 1000.

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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