Anita Varma

Partner, Boston, London

Biography

“The ‘talented’ Anita Varma is recognized by commentators for her representation of biotechnology sector clients.”
Chambers USA – Massachusetts, Intellectual Property 2016

Overview

Anita Varma is Chair of the Firm's Global Intellectual Property Practice Group. She is based in the Firm's Boston office, with a dual practice in London. She is qualified to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO).

Anita provides strategic patent counseling to life sciences industry companies, guiding them through every stage of a product's life cycle. She works with clients in obtaining enforceable claims and supporting them in post-grant proceedings, as well as in developing and executing both offensive and defensive patent strategies. She also conducts strategic review of patent portfolios to identify strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities to minimize threats and maximize revenue.

As part of this strategic counseling, Anita regularly advises on patentability, validity and freedom to operate issues, provides pre-litigation assessments and opinions regarding patentability, conducts IP due diligence for strategic transactions, and advises on listing and delisting matters in the US Food & Drug Administration's Orange Book.

Clients also benefit from Anita's experience in navigating Biosimilar litigation strategies. She has skilled expertise among diverse life sciences subjects, including immunology, antibody therapeutics, RNAi therapeutics, small molecules, gene therapy, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, CRISPR, ocular products, biophotonics, messenger RNA therapeutics, protein therapeutics, and protein traps.

Anita is named one of the top lawyers in the United States for patent prosecution matters (Legal 500), and is viewed by competitors as "an extremely skilled attorney with both legal and business smarts" (LMG Life Sciences). Clients appreciate her "'business savvy' approach and her familiarity with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries" and note that "the experience [of working with Anita] has been very positive" (independent survey by Chambers & Partners).

Prior to joining White & Case, Anita was a partner at an international law firm.

Bars and Courts
Massachusetts Bar
Maryland State Bar
New Jersey State Bar
US Patent and Trademark Office
Solicitor, England and Wales
Education
JD
Georgetown University Law Center
MS (Chemistry)
Jiwaji University
MS (Biochemistry)
American University
BS (Chemistry)
Jiwaji University
Languages
English

Experience

Anita has extensive experience conducting competitive landscape studies relating to gene therapy delivery and manufacturing methods including use of viral vector and lipid nanoparticles.

Representing a leading genome editing company focused on developing curative therapeutics using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.  This company is revolutionizing medicine by harnessing the power of genome editing to develop potential cures for cancer, genetic disorders, viral infections, inflammatory disorders and many more. We provide advice in connection with intellectual property matters including strategic counseling, patent prosecution in connection with intellectual property primary relating to CRISPR technology.

Representing a biotechnology company that is precision medicines for a broad range of genetic disorders, including its lead program for Dravet syndrome, a type of epilepsy. This company treats severe genetic disorders using viral gene therapy approaches.  We provide a full range of intellectual property services for this client, including patent prosecution, competitive landscape analysis, licensing and freedom to operate analysis, trade secret guidance and diligence support.

Providing IP due diligence support to a diagnostic imaging products manufacturer in their $520M acquisition of oncology-focused pharmaceutical company that provides medicines and artificial intelligence aiming to find and treat cancer. 

Providing IP due diligence support to a Scandinavian private equity firm in an acquisition of a Swedish life sciences company that has developed a unique technology for human biomarker discovery. 

Represented a pharmaceutical company to conduct freedom to operate studies on at least 100 drug products to be marketed in emerging markets such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Malaysia, South Africa, etc. We considered patent assessments and any available regulatory exclusivities to determine the extent and duration of patent and regulatory coverage.*

Provided IP due diligence support to a pharmaceutical company in connection with a US$1.15 billion acquisition of a company developing inhalable therapeutics and a US$420 million exclusive licensing arrangement with a company developing messenger RNA therapeutics.*

Represented a private equity client in their bid to acquire a large European specialty pharmaceutical company. This included reviewing the target company's worldwide portfolio of about 1,500 patents, analyzing seven ongoing Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) litigations and conducting a competitive patent landscape analysis.*

Represented a pharmaceutical company in the worldwide prosecution of their clinical candidates. This included the development of a patent portfolio for several different polypeptide ligand traps, as well as methods of using those compounds to treat various diseases.*

*Matters prior to joining White & Case. 

Speaking Engagements

Panel Moderator, American Conference Institute 16th Advanced Summit on Life Sciences Patents Conference, New York City, February 21-22, 2018: "Around the World in 30 Months: Developing a Robust International Portfolio."

Panelist, American Conference Institute 16th Advanced Summit on Life Sciences Patents Conference, New York City, February 21-22, 2018: "Living Large: Filing and Protecting Big Portfolios while Avoiding Double-Patenting Issues."

Life Sciences Patent Network Europe, London, December 6th, 2017: "Patents & Pharma: An Ever-Changing Global Landscape."

Panel Chair, Boston Bar Association 2nd Annual Life Sciences Conference, Boston, October 3rd, 2017: "Freedom-to-Operate"

Life Sciences Patent Network North America, Boston, June 1st , 2017: "Global Patent Enforceability: Status and Outlook."

Panelist, Pharma and IP Legal Summit Conference, New Jersey, December 7, 2016: "US and Global Regulations."

Panelist, American Conference Institute's 7th Annual Summit on Biosimilars, New York, June 13, 2016: "Mapping Out the BPCIA Process: A Cheat Sheet on Navigating the Biosimilars Pathway."

Global Pharma IP Forum, London, September 28, 2015.

Goldman Sachs, March 18, 2014: "10,000 Small Businesses."

MIP European Patent Reform Forum, Munich, September 19, 2013: "Consultation panel: Feedback and ideas regarding draft proposals for rules of procedure."

ACI, New York, NY, March 1, 2013 : "Conducting Thorough and Effective Due Diligence Analysis for Life Sciences M&A and Strategic Alliances."

Bloomberg/BNA Webinar, August 16th, 2012: "Changing Patent Challenges at the PTO: The Final AIA Countdown."

C5's 8th International Forum on Freedom to Operate, May 18-19th, 2011: "The Impact of US Case Law Developments on FTO Analysis."

NACUA 2010 Annual Conference, November 12th, 2010: "Patent Eligibility Following Bilski."
Panelist, Boston Bar Association and Boston Patent Law Association, April 29, 2010: "The Biosimilar Regulatory Pathway: Statutory Framework & IP Implications."

American Conference Institute's 7th National Conference on Life Sciences IP Due Diligence, January 20-21, 2010: "Freedom-to-Operate."

ACI Biotech Patent Conference, October 1st, 2009: "Master Class on Drafting Successful Patent Applications for Biotechnology Related Inventions." 

Publications

Co-author, "European Patent Practice for U.S. Attorneys, 2017 Supplement" Bloomberg BNA (October 2017)

Co-author, "European Patent Filing Strategies in the Age of Brexit," Bloomberg BNA World IP Report (November 2016)

Co-author, "European Patent Practice for U.S. Attorneys," Bloomberg BNA (March 2016)

Co-author, "United States," Patent Transactions in the Life Sciences (October 2014)

Featured, "Q&A With Ropes & Gray's Anita Varma," Law360 (August 7, 2013)

Co-author, "On the verge of the UPC," Intellectual Property Magazine (March 2013)

Co-author, "The debate is over: The rules are set, but the players are moving. Ropes & Gray reviews the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court," The Patent Lawyer (January/February 2013) 

Awards and Recognition

Euromoney's Women in Business Law Expert Guide– Recognized as a leading practitioner in the Life sciences/Patents field, 2019 and 2020

Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars
Named as one of the Patent Stars for 2020

IAM Patent 1000 – The World's Leading Patent Professionals (2012-2020) 

Managing Intellectual Property, 2019 - 2020

Named as one of the Top 250 Women in IP

Massachusetts, LMG Life Sciences 
2018 Patent Strategy & Management Attorney of the Year
World IP Review Leaders (2017)

Leading Lawyer, Chambers USA, Intellectual Property – Massachusetts (2015-2016)

Diversity & The Bar "Rainmaker" (2014)

The Best Lawyers in America (2014-2019)

Managing IP – "IP Star" (2013-2014)

LMG Life Sciences: "Life Sciences Star" (2012-2013, 2016-2019)