August 7, 2009

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Polsinelli Shughart PC a 10-year contract beginning August 3, 2009 that can be worth up to $87 million. The Science and Technology Law Group will provide patent work for the NIH, which has 27 institutes and centers including The National Cancer Institute, The National Human Genome Research Institute and The Center for Scientific Review. The NIH focuses its medical research in areas such as infectious disease, cancer and heart disease. As of 2003, the NIH was responsible for $28 million dollars, approximately 28 percent of all dollars spent annually in the United States on biomedical research.

“We are extremely excited to be selected for this prestigious patent work,” said Science and Technology Law Group Chair Patrick C. Woolley, who has grown the science and technology practice to more than 35 lawyers and scientists. “The NIH is on the forefront of cutting-edge biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device discoveries. Polsinelli Shughart is proud to be a part of that. This is a testament to our broad and talented team of attorneys and scientists as well as a demonstration of value.”

Currently, the Polsinelli Shughart law firm is only the eighth law firm in the country to be selected to provide these services to the NIH, and only the second law firm in the entire Midwest. Woolley says the firm went through a rigorous selection process that took the firm two and a half years to complete.

“This demonstrates the depth of our biotechnology, patent and life sciences lawyers,” said Woolley. “The NIH chose our firm based on merit, our prior work product, qualifications and our sophisticated legal services that involve our team in Kansas City, St. Louis, Denver and Chicago.”

Missouri has a strong commitment to the biotechnology and biomedical industry. It’s estimated that the life sciences research base is growing at six to ten percent a year. The Missouri Biotechnology Association is a nonprofit trade association that supports basic research in the development of a highly educated work force and provides a friendly environment for attracting new business. The Executive Director, Kelly Gillespie, says being awarded a contract from the National Institutes of Health says volumes about the complex legal work the firm is capable of conducting for clients.

“It’s such a substantial development that really shows the level of respect the scientific community has for the Polsinelli Shughart law firm,” said Gillespie. “To get one of these contracts, first in the Midwest, first in Missouri, is quite a coup.”

The Polsinelli Shughart science and technology practice consists of more than 35 lawyers and scientists, including nine with PhDs. It provides resources and experience to entrepreneurial work focusing on the special needs of biotechnology, chemical, food science, pharmaceuticals, computer hardware, software, electronic commerce and new media companies. The team is staffed with experienced lawyers and scientists with advance degrees in engineering, biology, microbiology, and chemistry. Our attorneys handle some of the most complex and cutting edge issues facing technology, high-tech, bioscience and agriculture companies.

About Polsinelli Shughart
With more than 480 attorneys, Polsinelli Shughart PC ( is a national law firm that is a recognized leader in the areas of business litigation, financial services, real estate, business law, construction, life sciences and health care. Serving corporate, institutional and individual clients regionally, nationally and worldwide, Polsinelli Shughart is known for successfully applying forward-thinking strategies for both straightforward and complex legal matters. The firm has 13 offices in Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Wilmington, Delaware; Chicago and Edwardsville, Illinois; Overland Park and Topeka, Kansas; Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and St. Joseph, Missouri; New York City; and Washington, D.C.