Finance Monthly - Deal Maker Awards 2023

20 Finance Monthly Deal Maker Awards 2023 Germany To begin with, what was it that sparked your interest in law? At the age of 16/17, I spent a year abroad in the United States (I went to high school in LA). It was during this time that I first came into contact with ‘Moot Court’, a simulated court proceeding for high school students. I found that incredibly exciting – and by the end of the year I knew I wanted to study and practice law. Why did you choose IP and IT law as your primary areas of specialisation? I have always had a knack for IT. While I was in law school in the mid-90s, I coded some of the first websites for German courts in my spare time and was involved in some IT projects in the German healthcare sector. Later in my job I realised that good IT advice requires a deep understanding of IP issues. Today at NEUWERK, I have the great privilege to work exactly at the intersection of these topics: We regularly advise pharmaceutical and biotech companies on e-health and (data) licensing issues. For me, this is the best combination of both worlds! How have you seen these fields change over the course of your career? I think IP and IT law remain some of the most dynamic areas of law around. In the 15 years that I have been practicing law, these fields have changed fundamentally. To give some examples, we have seen massive new legislation to protect privacy (e.g. GDPR and CCPA), increased enforcement of computer crime and cybercrime laws, new protections for online copyright infringement, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the need for increased data security and regulation and the development of cloud computing and AI. In your view, what are the most interesting current trends emerging from the IP and IT sectors? One of the most interesting current trends we are witnessing is the mass emergence of AI, with tools like ChatGPT being accessible to everyone – and we are debating whether we will now see the ‘death of copyright’ (I for one think so). What do you enjoy most about your current role? In my role as a partner here at NEUWERK, I am often asked to be actively involved in two sectors that are particularly close to my heart, namely Life Sciences and IT. With our focus on licensing and commercial work, we are often invited by our clients to be involved in deals and collaborations in the development of new and innovative products. Typically these are very exciting developments in which not only the medical world but also the general public has a great interest. I really enjoy this work – I find it intellectually challenging and incredibly exciting! Can you tell us anything about significant past deals you have worked on? A few years ago, I advised BioNTech, a leading German biotech company specialising in immunotherapies (particularly mRNA therapies), on a series of licensing collaborations to commercialise novel mRNA-based cancer immunotherapies. These collaborations have the potential to revolutionise cancer treatment by providing personalised cancer vaccines for many tumours. Then last year, the University Clinic of Cologne asked me to advise them on an out-licensing of a novel compound to BioNTech (i.e. to effectively sit on the other side of the negotiating table). That was a lot of fun – it gave me a chance to meet my old contacts at BioNTech again and, at the same time, do my part in aligning the different interests of the contracting parties. Is there a personal philosophy that you follow which drives you to achieve the best possible results for your clients? I think it is important to stay curious. Curiosity is a vital ingredient for becoming a good inventor

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