Biotechnology Law and Policy

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining many of the legal, business, ethical, and policy issues raised by the biotechnology industry. This course is structured around a “molecules-to-market” framework, tracing the issues that a biotechnology company encounters throughout the path of its development. Particular attention will be placed at the start-up phase, with ample discussion of legal and business issues that in-house counsel are likely to encounter. Topics include intellectual property protection, corporate organization and financing, conflicts of interest, regulatory approvals, public-private partnerships, tort liability, and the ethical implications of various technologies. We will examine these topics through emerging biotechnological advancements in fields such as genetics, stem cell research, nanotechnology, bioinformatics, and the neurosciences; topics will be examined through a comparative lens, with emphasis on the advantages and disadvantages of different legal frameworks on the biotechnology industry. A continuing theme of the course will be how the biotechnology industry impacts law, science, business, public policy, and society.