Dean Louis Fanelli

Special Counsel
Full contact info

About Dean

Dr. Dean Fanelli advises chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on patent portfolio creation and management, counseling, technology transactions, due diligence, and opinion work, including drafting novelty, freedom-to-operate and invalidity opinions. He regularly handles IP issues relating to mergers and acquisitions, including corporate governance and setup, drafting and negotiating asset purchase agreements, licensing agreements, shareholder rights agreements and financing for life sciences companies. Dean also has experience in patent litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act, developing Paragraph IV litigation strategies as well as biosimilar market and patent assessments.

Dean was a founding member of Fanelli Haag, an international intellectual property law firm that was acquired by Seyfarth Shaw. Prior to joining Cooley, Dean led Seyfarth Shaw’s life sciences and chemical IP practice group, where his practice focused on patent prosecution and counseling, Paragraph IV litigation strategies and Hatch-Waxman litigation, and biosimilar patent identification and strategy. Dean worked extensively on patent and trademark application preparation and prosecution; inter partes review and interference proceedings; patent licensing and IP asset transfers; patent landscape analyses and corporate transactions. Dean also practiced in the Washington, DC office of Morgan Lewis, where his work focused primarily on patent prosecution and counseling of clients in the pharmaceutical, chemical, veterinary, consumer products and nutritional industries.

Dean has research experience as a research scientist in synthesizing biologically active compounds, including antibiotics, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. In addition, to his legal expertise in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, Dean also understands the business needs of his clients. He was co-founder of PhosImmune, a cancer immunotherapy company that developed a library of phosphopeptide tumor targets (PTTs) developed at the University of Virginia and the University of Birmingham, UK (PhosImmune was acquired by Agenus in 2015). Dean is also a co-founder of C-Reveal Therapeutics, an immune-oncology company developing small molecule inhibitors of cancer specific enzymes based on technology discovered at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University; and he is a co-founder of AexeRNA Therapeutics, an mRNA delivery company developing a library of proprietary lipid nanoparticles (LNP) and novel methods of manufacturing these LNPs. AexeRNA is advancing technology developed at George Mason University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Dean is a board member of Children’s Charity Foundation, a Washington, DC based non-profit aimed at assisting children in the greater Washington, DC area. He also serves as a volunteer baseball coach for the Davidsonville Maryland Athletic Association.



  • Dean L. Fanelli, PhD was interviewed by Jim Bohannon on Westwood One Radio. Dr. Fanelli discusses the latest COVID-19 vaccine distribution and development (January 14, 2021).
  • Dean L. Fanelli, PhD was interviewed on Cheddar, “Health Experts Optimistic After Early Pfizer Vaccine Data Shows 90% Effectiveness.” Fanelli discusses the significance of the data in Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine candidate (November 9, 2020).
  • Dean L. Fanelli, PhD was quoted in a story from Lifewire, “How Apps Could Detect COVID Through Speech.” Fanelli said any new diagnostic tool that can effectively and accurately detect Covid-19 that is less invasive and quicker than the current diagnostic tools is an important advancement (November 9, 2020).
  • Dean L. Fanelli, PhD was interviewed on This Morning with Gordon Deal and discussed progress in the development of a Coronavirus vaccine (October 22, 2020).
  • Dean L. Fanelli, PhD was interviewed by Jim Bohannon on Westwood One Radio. Dr. Fanelli discusses the latest COVID-19 vaccine progress (October 20, 2020).
  • Dean L. Fanelli, PhD was interviewed on KMET 1490 AM Radio, “The Morning Show with Aaron Michael Sanchez.” Fanelli discusses the latest clinical human trials for Covid-19 (August 6, 2020).
  • Dean L. Fanelli, PhD was interviewed on Cheddar, “U.S. Taps Kodak to Help Generic Drug Shortage Amid Pandemic.” Fanelli discusses how pandemic effects, along with strained international relations, hurt the pharmaceutical supply chain. (July 31, 2020).


  • “The Promises and Perils of Blockchain as Content Distribution Technology,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (November 13, 2018)
  • “Chemical & Life Sciences Patents: A Look Back and A Sneak Peek to the Future,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (October 11, 2018)
  • “Patent Race on the Emergence of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (August 23, 2018)
  • “Bridging the Gap Between EU and U.S. Biotech Inventions Protection,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (April 17, 2018)
  • “Biosimilar Litigation and Your BPCIA Compliance: Key Strategies In Light of AbbVie v. Boehringer,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (March 22, 2018)
  • “Understanding the BPCIA Litigation Pathway Amidst the Increasing Biosimilar Disputes,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (November 6, 2017)
  • “Trends in Paragraph IV Challenges: What Lies Ahead in 2017 and Beyond,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (May 24, 2017)
  • Moderator, “SPCS: Trickier Than Expected?,” World Intellectual Property Forum 2017, Bangalore, India (April 2017)
  • “Tips and Strategies in Winning Paragraph IV Disputes in 2016 & Beyond,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (August 23, 2016)
  • “Patent Protection for Pharma and Biotechnology in 2016,” Webinar, Knowledge Group (April 18, 2016)
  • 7th Global Intellectual Property Convention 2015, New Delhi India (January 2015)
  • “Follow-On Biologic Market Entry into the United States and Europe,” 6th Global Intellectual Property Convention 2014, New Delhi, India (January 2014)
  • “Comparative U.S. and European Patent Law,” World Intellectual Property Forum 2013, Bangalore, India (January 2013)


George Washington University Law School
JD, 2002

Temple University
PhD, 1999, Organic Chemistry

Villanova University
BS, 1994, Chemistry

Court admissions

Supreme Court of the United States

Rankings & accolades

Lawyers of Distinction: Excellence in Intellectual Property

Legal 500: Leading Healthcare Lawyer

LMG Life Sciences: Life Sciences Star

Memberships & affiliations

American Bar Association

American Chemical Society

American Intellectual Property Law Association

District of Columbia Bar Association

New York State Bar Association