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Headquarters: Gaithersburg, Md. Founded: 1988 Patents: 100 Business: Discovers, develops, and manufactures products that treat or prevent infectious diseases, immune system disorders, and cancer. When Jonathan Klein-Evans started work at Medimmune Inc. in February 2002, no one at the publicly traded company knew much about intellectual property. Patent prosecution was done by outside counsel, and the company lacked the skills to effectively analyze its competitors’ patent portfolios. Medimmune had started bringing its products to market in the late 1990s. But it still needed a lawyer to ensure that its drugs didn’t infringe anyone else’s patents and that it was licensing needed technology. The work appealed to Klein-Evans, who was mired in patent prosecution work at Human Genome Sciences, a genomics and biopharmaceutical company based in Rockville, Md. “I was happy [there], but at Medimmune I could be involved with all aspects of the company’s intellectual property,” he says. Klein-Evans certainly had the right background. The 39-year-old lawyer had studied biochemistry at Columbia University and earned an M.S. in biological science from Stanford University. While attending Georgetown University Law Center at night and thereafter as an associate, he had prosecuted patents and dabbled in litigation at the D.C. office of Pennie & Edmonds. At Medimmune, Klein-Evans still does patent prosecution, but he also plays a more pivotal role in the company. “He’s a policy-maker now,” says Bill Bertrand, Medimmune’s vice president of legal affairs and Klein-Evans’ boss. “He’s involved in strategy.” Under Klein-Evans’ watch, company scientists now regularly report their inventions to the legal department. The IP legal staff — two other lawyers, three law students, and a paralegal — attend meetings with Medimmune scientists on a routine basis. And for the first time, the company is starting to file its own patent applications. This could prove useful. Medimmune has about a dozen drugs already awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The company has in the pipeline vaccines that may prevent cervical cancer, urinary tract infections, and streptococcus pneumonia infections. And last month, one of its most promising innovations — FluMist, a nasal spray that inoculates people against the flu — was approved by the FDA. Of course, it’s uncertain whether any of these will be commercially viable. But Medimmune has a proven track record: five revenue-producing drugs already on the market. The most successful, Synagis, helps save the lives of babies born too soon. The drug is the first and only monoclonal antibody approved by the FDA to prevent an infectious disease — in this case, a lower-respiratory-tract disease common among premature infants. “This work is very exciting,” says Klein-Evans. “It’s my job to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. I have to catch everything.”

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