David Holland


David is a Partner in the Life Sciences group and has a diverse practice, working with therapeutic proteins, modified nucleic acids and traditional small molecules. He frequently handles platform technology cases, from drafting provisionals to worldwide prosecution, and from divisional strategy to post-grant opposition.  He has particular experience helping start-up and early stage companies build their IP strategy, with recent successes for Tricida, Modis Therapeutics, Ambrx and Frequency Therapeutics.  David’s advice is built on over a decade supporting both start-ups and more established players such as Ionis Pharmaceutics, Incyte, Acorda and Sanofi.

David’s familiarity with Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) allows him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and judicious strategy, drawing upon his experience of patent and regulatory exclusivity. David’s practice focuses on managing interrelated oppositions and appeals at the EPO, often providing strategic advice where his client is opponent in one case and proprietor in the next. He regularly defends patents against multiple opponents in oppositions involving 100+ documents and the very latest case law.

His experience in EPO prosecution, opposition and appeal proceedings has led to significant financial success for his clients. Most recently, his guidance through the initial examination process led to his client, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, successfully defeating nine oppositions to maintain their commanding platform technology portfolio in the antisense space. David also handles opposition and prosecution work for Vanda Pharmaceuticals, including European cases regarding the method of treatment claims recently upheld by the US Federal Circuit and the subject of the recent USPTO memo on patent eligibility.

Another of David’s specialisms is European patent term extensions (SPCs) for a wide range of products, including Jakavi, Rebif and Evarrest. Clients often rely on David to manage oppositions and patent prosecution that interlink with the SPC strategy. As part of this work, he assesses both the SPC and patent coverage, and the interplay with the regulatory protection available to his clients (including orphan protection). David is frequently involved in appeals against SPC refusals across Europe, including litigation in Spain and Sweden.

David was awarded a first-class degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge. He took full advantage of the breadth of this course by studying subjects as diverse as biochemistry, pharmacology and physiology, before focusing on organic and biological chemistry. This combination of experience gives David a particular edge when advising on products at the intersection of these fields, such as therapeutic polymers, antisense oligonucleotides and chemically modified proteins.


  • MSci and MA Natural Sciences (University of Cambridge)
  • Chartered Patent Attorney
  • European Patent Attorney

Key Cases

  • Hetlioz® – Vanda v two opponents (second medical use – EPO)
  • Invokana® – Janssen  v Sandoz (formulations – EPO)
  • Fampyra® – Acorda v three opponents (second medical use – EPO)
  • Feburic® – Teijin v Quimica Sintetica (polymorphs – EPO)