Let’s Make a Deal – Strategic Licensing and M&A Trends

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Tuesday, February 11, 9:00 a.m. - 9:55 a.m. | Jade

This panel will evaluate licensing and M&A trends of recent deals as the parties involved aim to get the biggest bang for their buck. Why have these trends developed and what is in store for the future? What do company executives and investors think about recent valuations, CVRs, and the timing of deals with respect to stage of development? Hear industry experts speak on the differing licensing challenges and solutions facing both large and small companies.


  • Effie Toshav, Partner, Fenwick & West LLP


  • Michael Diem, Global Vice President & Head of Corporate Strategy, AstraZeneca
  • Michelle Dipp, MD, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder, OvaScience
  • David H. Donabedian, Ph.D. Vice President, Head of Venture Investments & Early Stage Collaborations, AbbVie

Who's Who

Effie Toshav
Partner, Fenwick & West LLP

Effie Toshav’s national practice focuses on providing counsel to life sciences clients where she serves as a strategic advisor on a wide range of business and legal issues. Her experience covers the full spectrum of issues and transactions facing such companies and investors, including formation issues, public offerings, spin outs, corporate financings, mergers and acquisitions transactions and general corporate governance.

Effie also advises her clients on the negotiation and structuring of complex technology transactions, complex strategic partnering transactions, intellectual property counseling, R&D commercialization collaborations and university licensing. Effie is known for partnering with her clients as an integral member of the management team to collaborate on setting strategic direction as well as structuring and negotiating complex legal and corporate transactions. Her extensive operational in-house experience and deep understanding of the issues facing emerging and public life science companies allows her to provide clients with highly practical and relevant advice.

Prior to joining Fenwick & West, Effie served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel with Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT), a developer of RNA-based therapeutics, and prior to that, a partner in the life sciences practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. From June 2004 to June 2006, she was general counsel of GlycoFi, a venture-backed, private biotechnology company, and played a significant role in the sale of the company to Merck for $400 Million. Prior to GlycoFi, Effie was senior corporate counsel at Protein Design Labs, predecessor of Facet Biotech.


Michael Diem
Global Vice President & Head of Corporate Strategy, AstraZeneca

Mike recently joined AstraZeneca at the end of 2013 as the head of Corporate Strategy. He is responsible globally for corporate strategy, corporate development and MedImmune Ventures. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Mike was the Head Business Development for GSK Rare Diseases and responsible for partnerships, licensing and M&A. Earlier in his career at GSK, he was a partner in its corporate venture capital firm, SR One, Limited. While there he was responsible for many of the firm’s investments and served on the boards of numerous companies. Mike was also an associate at Frantz Medical Ventures and practiced as an attending physician for 6 years. He holds a BA in biological sciences from Rutgers University, an MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, completed his medical training at Duke University Medical Center and is an alumnus of the Kauffman Fellows Program.

Michelle Dipp, MD, PhD
CEO & Co-Founder, OvaScience

Dr. Dipp is the founding Chief Executive Officer of OvaScience and serves on the Board of Directors. Dr. Dipp is also a Founder and Partner of Longwood Fund, which founds and invests in healthcare companies such as Alnara (acquired by Eli Lilly) and Verastem. Previously, Dr. Dipp was the Senior Vice President and Head of the CEEDD at GlaxoSmithKline. Prior, she was Vice President of Corporate Development at Sirtris, where she led the successful acquisition of Sirtris by GSK for $720 million. Before joining Sirtris as a founding employee, she worked in healthcare private equity at The Wellcome Trust, London. Dr. Dipp serves on the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) Emerging Companies Governing Board, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Boston Symphony Orchestra Board of Overseers, and the MassBio Advisory Board. Dr. Dipp holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford.

David H. Donabedian, PhD 
Vice President, Head of Venture Investments & Early Stage Collaborations, AbbVie

David Donabedian is Vice President and Head of Venture Investments & Early Stage Collaborations. He is responsible for leading a global team to identify, evaluate and execute investments in emerging biotech companies of interest to AbbVie.

Prior to joining AbbVie, Dr. Donabedian was Senior Vice President, Locust Walk Partners, where he led strategic transactions and engagement for biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He has over 17 years of experience in the life sciences industry and has held a number of senior leadership roles related to business development, fundraising, strategy and research, including Vice President, Global New Deal Strategy & Development at GlaxoSmithKline’s Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery; Vice President of Business Development for Surface Logix; and Senior Manager in Accenture’s Strategic Services Consulting Group. Dr. Donabedian began his career as a research scientist with Dow Chemical and Boston Scientific.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. Anselm College, a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.