Karen Spindler, a partner in Goodwin's Technology & Life Sciences group, advises life sciences companies and investors on a variety of intellectual property transactions. She represents biotech and pharmaceutical clients in transactions involving intellectual property assets and has considerable experience structuring collaboration, co-development, license and manufacturing agreements. She also counsels financial investors and operating companies on complex intellectual property issues arising in the context of corporate transactions, including mergers, stock and asset purchases, divestitures, royalty agreements, leveraged buyouts and financing transactions.

Ms. Spindler has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading patent and technology licensing lawyers by Euromoney Legal Media Group and Intellectual Asset Management.





Ms. Spindler has advised Fortune 500 biopharmaceutical companies, semiconductor manufacturers and computer technology providers, as well as leading venture capital funds and private equity funds on a variety of intellectual property and licensing matters.

Representative Matters



Life Sciences Strategic Collaborations and M&A
  • Arvelle Therapeutics in its licensing agreement with SK Biopharmaceuticals obtaining exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Cenobamate in Europe valued up to $530 million
  • Arvinas in agreements with Bayer to jointly launch a company to leverage Arvinas’ PROTAC® technology for agricultural applications and to leverage Arvinas’ novel PROTAC® protein degrader technology to develop human therapeutics in certain indications, for a value of over $110 million in cash and committed funding for the human disease collaboration, the agricultural JV, and an equity investment in Arvinas
  •  Corbus Pharmaceuticals in its strategic collaboration with Kaken Pharmaceutical granting exclusive rights to commercialize Lenabasum in Japan for systemic sclerosis and dermatomyositis valued up to $200 million
  • Sage Therapeutics in its collaboration with Shionogi to accelerate development of SAGE-217 in key Asian markets for major depressive disorder and other indications, valued potentially in excess of $575 million
  • Ambys Medicines in its strategic partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical under which Takeda commits $100 million to pioneer development of first in class liver therapies, including participation in Ambys’ Series A financing
  • Ginkgo Bioworks in (i) its joint venture with Bayer to create Joyn Bio, focused on plant microbiome, with an initial investment of $100 million, (ii) its alliance with Genomatica for bio-based production of intermediate chemicals, (iii) its collaboration with Glycosyn to optimize and scale production of human milk oligosaccharides (hMOS), (iv) its spinoff Motif Ingredients to develop proteins to serve as meat and dairy replacements, and (v)  its collaboration with Synlogic to accelerate its pipeline of Synthetic Biotic medicines using Ginkgo’s cell programming platform providing an $80 million equity investment in Synlogic and a $30 million payment to Ginkgo for research and development
  • Royalty Pharma in its purchases of royalties in transactions valued at more than $10 billion, including (i) its $3.3 billion purchase of Ivacaftor royalty rights from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, (ii) its $175 million funding agreement with Immunomedics for royalties on sales of Sacituzumab Govitecan (IMMU-132) and $75 million equity purchase, (iii) its $100 million funding agreement with Biohaven for royalties on sales of rimegepant and BHV-3500 and $50 million equity purchase, and (iv) its $827 million acquisition of the worldwide royalties to Promacta (eltrombopag) from Ligand Pharmaceuticals
  • Foundation Medicine in the collaboration agreements forming part of its strategic transaction with Roche of a total value in excess of $1 billion
  • Blueprint Medicines in its strategic collaboration with Alexion Pharmaceuticals to advance kinase drug candidates in rare genetic diseases, with potential deal value of up to $265 million
  • Intellia Therapeutics in its exclusive collaboration with Novartis for CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology for ex vivo therapeutic development, with potential deal value of up to $280 million plus royalties
  • Tetragenetics in its collaboration with MedImmune for a multi-target ion channel drug discovery program
  • Scholar Rock in its global research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Biotech for novel biologic therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer
  • SentreHeart in its sale to AtriCure for up to $300 million in upfront and earnout payments
  • Ocera Therapeutics in its sale to Mallinckrodt in a cash tender offer, plus contingent value right
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in its $3.2 billion acquisition of Auspex Pharmaceuticals
  • Onyx Pharmaceuticals in its $10.4 billion sale to Amgen
  • Several biopharmaceutical clients on strategic licensing transactions involving early stage products
  • Clients on licensing foundational intellectual property assets from universities and other academic entities
Other Licensing and M&A/Private Equity
  • Enterprise server business division of Hitachi, Ltd. in connection with collaboration and supply agreements
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. in connection with patent acquisitions and complex strategic licensing transactions*
  • Private equity fund Thoma Bravo in its majority investment in SailPoint Technologies, and in connection with take-private and other leveraged buyout transactions (together with financing aspects of such transactions)
  • M&A clients on license compliance issues relating to open source software use in the product environment*

* Certain representative matters prior to joining Goodwin

Professional Experience

Prior to joining Goodwin, Ms. Spindler was a partner in the Palo Alto and San Francisco offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  Previously, she practiced at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.


Ms. Spindler has been named:

  • A "Life Sciences Star" by Euromoney Legal Media Group for licensing and collaboration expertise in the life sciences industry (every year since 2012)
  • One of the world's leading 1000 patent practitioners by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) (every year since 2012)

In The News









Santa Clara University School of Law
(magna cum laude; Order of the Coif)
Stanford University
(with Honors)



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Our clients rely on us for world-class advisory services, counsel on complex transactional work and high-stakes litigation. Specializing in matters involving the financial, life sciences, private equity, real estate, and technology industries, we use a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to resolve our clients’ most challenging issues. To find out more, please contact us.

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