With the hiring of senior adviser Chris Colwell, McKenna Long & Aldridge has stepped up its effort to add a new focus to its life sciences and public health preparedness practice, the firm announced Thursday.
John Clerici, chair of that practice, says the new focus on industrial biotechnology complements the firm’s existing services in pharmaceutical biotech. The firm has experience in working with clients to secure government funding to research bioterrorism and infectious disease prevention. Industrial biotech uses similar technologies to develop next-generation biofuels and microbial cleanup measures.
“This is about reaching past the low-hanging fruit in industrial biotechnology research and focusing on the science of the possible,” Clerici says.
As part of its new focus, the practice group recently added a new senior adviser position. Colwell previously worked for three years as director of health care regulatory affairs at the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
Colwell says the move will allow him to work with companies with more focus on individual strategic approaches. “In a trade organization like BIO, you’re looking at things from a consensus perspective how will decisions affect an industry and not necessarily an individual business,” Colwell says. “This is an exciting opportunity to work with companies on their business models.”