Paul Fehlner is Chief Intellectual Property Officer for Axcella Health, a Cambridge, Massachusetts biopharmaceutical startup. He is also a Principal of Life Sciences Innovation LLC, a consulting company he founded in 2017 to advise on complex IP business strategy for products and technologies in life sciences, develop capabilities of legal and IP professionals, and provide BD&L support for research institutes, companies, and investors.


Previously, Dr. Fehlner was Head of Intellectual Property for Novartis Pharma in Basel, Switzerland. In this role, he led a team responsible for obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing IP rights. The team created a holistic IP portfolio around Pharma’s products, including patents, trademarks, regulatory exclusivities, and reputation. They worked closely with global R&D and commercial organizaitons, local country organizations, and third-party stakeholders to ensure Novartis had a foundation to bring lifesaving and life-changing medicines to patients.


Dr. Fehlner joined Novartis in 2008 from Baker Botts, where he was a partner specializing in IP counselling and strategic planning in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, as well as litigation. His career includes seven years as an associate and partner at Darby & Darby, with earlier experience as Biotechnology Counsel for Rhône-Poulenc Rorer and as an associate for boutique IP firm Klauber & Jackson. Dr. Fehlner started his career in life sciences law in 1990 as a law clerk in the biotech and pharmaceutical group at Pennie & Edmonds. In addition to life sciences, Dr. Fehlner has worked on chemical and material sciences technologies.

Dr. Fehlner has a JD from Fordham University School of Law, a PhD in immunology and biochemistry from Rockefeller University (Lois P Markey Fellow), and a BS in chemistry from Haverford College (high honors; Phi Beta Kappa).

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