TRACK B- Business Growth:

Realities of IP in the Life Sciences

Successfully commercializing technology in the life sciences requires strong intellectual property (IP) protection, but what does that really mean for you? This panel will explore the realities of developing, acquiring, and capitalizing on strong IP in the life sciences.  We will focus on what academic tech transfer offices, entrepreneurs, and small and large companies can do to foster innovation and create an “ecosystem” to successfully commercialize technology in the life sciences.  This discussion will provide suggestions about how to strengthen your IP, facilitate communication with other parties in the “ecosystem,” and strategically plan for the future.


Samir Patel
Co-Founder & CEO, Moonlight Therapeutics

Samir is an engineer, innovator and entrepreneur. He is currently co-founder and CEO of Moonlight Therapeutics. Moonlight Therapeutics is focused on improving the quality of life for people with food allergies by providing patient-friendly treatments. Prior to Moonlight Therapeutics, Samir was a co-founder of Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ: CLSD). Clearside Biomedical is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company developing targeted therapies for ocular diseases by administering through the suprachoroidal space of the eye. He invented the suprachoroidal technology that lead to the creation of Clearside Biomedical and served as Director of Research from inception to the end of 2016. The company is currently in late-stage clinical trials in multiple indications and completed an IPO in 2016. Prior to that he was at Georgia Institute of Technology where he obtained his doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering and focused on research using microneedles for ocular drug delivery. He worked for Alza Corporation (A J&J company) on controlled release oral drug products between his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Samir obtained a dual B.S. degree in Chemical and Material Science Engineering from University of California at Berkeley.  

Terry Bray, PhD
Director of Technology Licensing, Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC)

Dr. Terry Bray is the Director of Technology Licensing at Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) and has over 25 years experience in the creation, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies.  Prior to joining GTRC, he held positions as the Executive Vice President of Business Development at Atherotech Diagnostics Lab, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as the Director of Physical Sciences in the UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (formerly the UAB Research Foundation), in the Office of Technology Transfer at North Carolina State University as a Senior Licensing Associate, and at UAB as a researcher and faculty member in the department of Biomedical Engineering.  Dr. Bray has extensive experience the management, patenting, and licensing of intellectual property, as well as facilitating start-up company formation and economic development.  While a researcher at UAB, Dr. Bray developed several technologies that were commercialized and is an inventor on several issued patents.  Dr. Bray holds a B.S. in chemistry from Mercer University, a M.S. in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

Christina Brown-Marshall, PhD
Principal, Fish & Richardson

Christina Brown-Marshall, Ph.D. is a Principal in the Atlanta office of Fish & Richardson. Her practice focuses on patent and mass tort product liability litigation.  Dr. Brown-Marshall has also successfully represented clients facing scrutiny by federal prosecutors and regulatory agencies, including conducting related internal investigations.  She has experience in a variety of technological fields, including medical devices, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and device manufacturing.  Her litigation experience encompasses all phases of litigation including conducting pre-suit diligence; managing discovery; drafting and arguing motions; and culminating in trial.

Dr. Brown-Marshall earned her J.D. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University.  As a Stanford Law student, she served as co-president of the BioLaw and Health Policy Society.  As a graduate student, her research focused on computational modeling of enzymes involved in drug synthesis.  Dr. Brown-Marshall was also a founding member of the Stanford Chemistry Department’s Women’s Committee on Graduate Life.  She also graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.

Clifford Michaels, PhD, CLP, RTTP 
Interim Executive Director, Office of Technology Transfer, Emory University

Clifford Michaels is the Interim Executive Director of Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer with over twelve years of experience in the field. Prior to his interim position Cliff was an Assistant Director in the office, overseeing its intern and marketing programs, as well as Emory’s material and data transfer agreements. Cliff’s experience in technology transfer is varied having managed a portfolio of inventions/assets, served as the office’s marketing manager and spent time managing the university’s patent portfolio and relationships with outside legal counsel.  Cliff is an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), volunteering with that organization’s strategic communications committee and moderating AUTM’s biannual Leadership Forum event. He also volunteers on the CLP standards, admissions, and recertification committee. Cliff regularly speaks about commercialization, technology transfer, and careers in technology transfer at events in Georgia and around the US . Cliff received his Doctorate in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2007 with his doctoral research focusing on the impact of early-life stress on endogenous opioid systems and behavioral measures of reward. It was during his time as a graduate student where his interests in commercializing university discoveries was piqued, and he originally joined the office as its first official intern while finishing his degree. Cliff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience from Lafayette College in Easton, PA and is both a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP™) and a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP™). 

Bill Warren, JD
Attorney, Eversheds Sutherland

Bill Warren advises clients on strategic intellectual property issues primarily in the life sciences sector, but also in a number of other industries. The majority of his practice focuses on patents related to biotechnology, medical device and pharmaceutical inventions. Bill prosecutes patents, counsels clients on patent validity and infringement issues and prepares product clearance opinions and development strategies. He also negotiates technology transfer licensing agreements and conducts intellectual property due diligence. Bill protects patents, trademarks and copyrights and, when necessary, participates in litigating intellectual property issues. Bill currently leads Sutherland’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and is chair of the firm’s biotechnology & life sciences team.

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