Melissa counsels life sciences clients on a wide range of intellectual property issues, including patent portfolio strategy and life cycle management, licensing and monetization strategy, and the risks associated with third party intellectual property. She also performs due diligence investigations and advises clients on strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to mitigate risk and remedy issues related to intellectual property in the context of a range of transactions, including private financings and capital markets transactions, license agreements, collaborations, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining the firm, Melissa completed a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University. Her graduate work focused on examining signaling events involved during the patterning of tissues to generate complex organs and helped define specific roles for Notch signaling in both cardiogenesis and nephrogenesis.


  • Represented Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board in its purchase of a royalty interest for venetoclax, a cancer treatment drug, from Australia’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (the Institute).
  • Represented LA BioMED and UCLA in its sale of a portion of its royalty interest in Kybella.
  • Represents a publicly traded biotechnology company in connection with their acquisition activities. Helped our client evaluate the patent portfolios for two target companies, identify potential issues, and develop appropriate remediation strategies.
  • Represented the underwriters in connection with over 50 public offerings, including initial public offerings or follow-on offerings for bluebird bio, Sage Therapeutics, Proteostasis Therapeutics, Avexis, Dimension Therapeutics, Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holdings Company Ltd., Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Therapeutics MD, and Quanterix.  
  • Represents a public biotechnology company for over 10 years on a variety of intellectual property matters. During that period, drafted and prosecuted a broad patent portfolio in the U.S. and around the world and coordinated activities with collaboration partners.
  • Represents a private biotechnology company developing novel protein therapeutics. Counsels the client on patent strategy, portfolio development, licensing activities, and general intellectual property matters.
  • Performed IP due diligence for a venture capital firm in connection with an investment in a nucleic acid instrumentation company.
  • Performed IP due diligence for a syndicate of venture capital firms in connection with an investment in a protein therapeutics company.
  • Represented a medical device client in an ex parte reexamination and obtained claims that preserved coverage for their primary product.

Areas of Practice