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Life Sciences

The life sciences industry is seeing increased demand, explosive growth and significant strides in product and technological innovation across the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, digital health and diagnostic sectors. This growth has generated renewed investor interest in the sector, and coincides with expanded and more stringent regulatory requirements, aggressive patent acquisition and enforcement, high volumes of strategic M&A activity, and increased product liability and class action litigation.

The Blakes Life Sciences group advises Canadian companies operating in the sector, along with international companies entering the Canadian market, expanding operations in Canada or conducting cross-border activities as part of international businesses.  Our clients include established multinational, mid-market and emerging pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, diagnostic product, and consumer product businesses as well as healthcare and health-related service providers, research institutions, financial institutions and investors.

Our team is internationally recognized in the life sciences sector. Many Blakes practitioners have advanced degrees in life sciences and related technologies.  We combine this sector specialization with regulatory, commercial, transactional/M&A, antitrust/competition, litigation, intellectual property, tax, transfer pricing, privacy, cybersecurity and other expertise to meet the needs of our clients.

Health & Product Regulatory
A distinguishing feature of our practice is our expertise in the vast array of Canadian regulatory regimes at the federal and provincial levels.  We advise clients on all matters involving life sciences regulation, including product approvals and labelling, pricing and reimbursement, product listing agreements, rebates, interchangeability of drugs, conflicts of interest, procurement, anti-bribery, freedom of information, privacy and cybersecurity, product marketing and advertising, interaction with healthcare professionals, digital health, drug and device import and export, clinical trials, and product recalls.

Financing, M&A and Commercial Matters
Life science companies looking to consolidate operations, acquire products or technology, divest themselves of non-strategic products or functions, or attract partners or funding for research, growth or ongoing operations, rely on Blakes for advice.

In addition to our significant experience in public and private financing, investment and M&A transactions, we regularly advise clients in the life sciences sector in connection with product supply, distribution, licensing, technology transfer, collaborations, strategic alliances, joint ventures, and other industry specific commercial arrangements.

Intellectual Property
Clients also retain Blakes for strategic advice on protecting their innovations and collaborating with others in the research and development of pharmaceutical, biological, medical device and combination products.  We handle patent and other intellectual property protection, portfolio management, risk management, and litigation.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution
When disputes arise, Blakes is a leading choice for representation across Canada.  Our litigators are among the most experienced in class action and product liability defence.

Developing an appropriate strategy is vital to mitigate risk and manage the defence of multiple claims and multijurisdictional class actions.  A keen understanding of our clients’ businesses and industry sectors allows us to be pragmatic in the advice we give.

We have successfully represented clients in hundreds of class actions across the country, including the first medical device class action to go to trial in Canada, as well as other precedent-setting cases and multijurisdictional disputes requiring global coordination.

Our IP litigation team is equally renowned for its litigation skill and experience in the courtroom, handling numerous high-profile disputes for our life sciences clients, including the first patent infringement trial relating to a biosimilar product.


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