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James Snipes is senior counsel in the firm’s corporate practice and a former chair of the life sciences industry group.  For the past twenty years, Mr. Snipes’s practice has focused on corporate and transactional matters for life sciences clients ranging from private, venture-backed biotech companies to multinational pharmaceutical companies.  The focus of his practice is strategic collaborations and complex licensing transactions; acquisitions and divestitures; spin-outs; venture investments; and commercial agreements in the biopharmaceutical industry.  Mr. Snipes’s international practice experience includes a stint as head of Covington’s corporate group in London and two years at one of Tokyo’s leading corporate law firms.

  • Representation of Pfizer Inc. in a worldwide $1 billion collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop and commercialize Apixaban, an anticoagulant, with Bristol-Myers Squibb; and in a worldwide collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb to conduct Phase III development and commercialization of DGAT-1 inhibitors with potential applications for the treatment of metabolic disorders including obesity and diabetes.
  • Representation of Gilead Sciences in a series of transactions with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck for the worldwide development and commercialization of a triple combination antiretroviral drug, including various corporate and contractual arrangements for supply and distribution in the United States; the European Union; and the access countries. 
  • Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company, in the spin-out of a late stage clinical product to a new company, Artisan Therapeutics, Inc., and simultaneous $39 million venture financing of Artisan.
  • Representation of the Institute for OneWorld Health, a non-profit dedicated to developing new drugs for neglected diseases, in negotiating research collaborations with academic institutions, including UCSF and UC Berkeley; license and supply agreements with commercial entities, including Amyris Biotechnologies; and the acquisition of intellectual property assets.
  • Representation of Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals in a strategic alliance with ARYx Therapeutics to develop a novel compound for the treatment of GERD and gastroparesis.  Payments by P&G under the deal could reach $435 million, including a $25 million upfront fee.
  • Representation of the National Academies of Sciences/Institute of Medicine in the preparation of industry-standard templates for a Material Transfer Agreement and Clinical Trial Agreement.
  • Representation of the J. Craig Venter Institute in the spin-out of synthetic genome technology to Synthetic Genomics, Inc.
  • Representation of Solstice Neurosciences in an exclusive license transaction with DreamPharma Corporation, a leading Korean pharmaceutical company.
  • Representation of MPM Capital in a $30 million investment in QuatRx Pharmaceuticals.
  • Representation of Medarex in various collaborations with U.S., European and Japanese biotech companies to develop and commercialize monoclonal antibody products, including a major cross-licensing deal with Kirin Breweries relating to transgenic and transchromosomic mouse technologies.
  • Representation of Chiron Corporation in various transactions, including the acquisition of Sagres Discovery and the divestiture of the PowderJect epidermal delivery technology to PowderMed.
  • Representation of Emergent BioSolutions in a collaboration with the UK's Health Protection Authority for the development of a botulinum toxoid vaccine. 

Pro Bono

  • Representation of the Institute for OneWorld Health on various corporate matters.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Past Director
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers, Life Sciences: Corporate/Commercial (2007-2017) 
  • Legal 500 US, Media, Technology and Telecoms - Technology - Transactions (2017) 
  • Legal 500 US, Healthcare - Life Sciences (2016)
  • Legal 500 US, Patents - Portfolio Management and Licensing (2016)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Biotechnology Law (2008-2018 )
  • Who's Who Legal, Life Sciences (2013-2017)  
  • IAM Patent 1000 - The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners (2015-2016)
  • LMG Life Sciences, "Life Science Star" (2013) 
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate (2006-2011)
  • Practical Law Company, Survey of Life Sciences Lawyers (2005-2012)