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Ewan Townsend's practice focusses on the commercial transactions involved in the development, exploitation and commercialization of medicinal products, representing many of the world's most sophisticated biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. His experience includes structuring, drafting and negotiating a wide range of commercial agreements including licence and collaboration agreements, manufacturing, distribution and supply agreements, clinical trial agreements, services agreements and co-promotion/co-development arrangements.

Ewan also advises on the regulatory issues that frequently arise in the context of those transactions and throughout the medicinal product life cycle, particularly in relation to marketing authorisations, manufacturing, distribution, advertising, pricing and reimbursement.

As a reflection of his deep understanding of the industry, since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic Ewan has also been working extensively with the vaccine industry to advise on vaccine and antiviral procurement by governments and international organisations including the EU, the African Union, COVAX and CARICOM.

In addition to his work in private practice, Ewan has spent time in-house with GlaxoSmithKline and Gilead in London, and Novartis in Sydney.

Ewan has a degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University, and studied law at a post-graduate level.


  • Essential Pharma, an international specialty pharma group, on its acquisition of Renaissance Pharma, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of life-changing therapies in paediatric rare disease.
  • Norgine, a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company, on an exclusive license with Fennec Pharmaceuticals, for the commercialization of PEDMARQSI® in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, for an upfront payment of €40 million and up to €210 million in additional milestone payments, plus downstream royalties.
  • Pfizer on a renegotiation and expansion of a collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation to deliver more than 320 million doses of Pfizer’s injectable contraceptive, Sayana® Press,  to enable greater access to injectable contraceptives for millions of women in low- and lower-middle income countries.
  • Pfizer in agreements for the supply of medicines and vaccines on a not-for-profit basis to 45 of the world's low- and some lower-middle-income countries as part of its Accord for a Healthier World.
  • Pfizer in relation to supply agreements with governmental authorities and international organisations and various other strategic aspects concerning the roll-out of Pfizer's antiviral, Paxlovid®, to treat SARS-CoV-2.
  • Touchlight Genetics on its renegotiated license with AskBio and joint venture exit.
  • Sanofi on agreements with the UK government for the supply of the Sanofi–GSK COVID-19 vaccine, as well as discussions with a country looking to make bilateral donations of its vaccine doses.
  • Pfizer on its collaboration agreement with Entia Limited to develop a home blood monitoring system, Affinity, for breast cancer patients.
  • Norgine, on its exclusive licence and distribution agreement for PLENVU® in China with Beijing Podconley Pharmaceutical Technology & Development Co., Ltd., a Chinese pharmaceutical company.
  • Pfizer in relation to supply agreements with governmental authorities and international organisations and various other strategic aspects in relation to the supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech's mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Norgine, a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company, on its sale of Arc Medical Design Limited to Olympus Corporation.
  • Norgine, on the acquisition by its wholly owned subsidiary SpePharm AG of SETOFILM® in Europe, Australia and New Zealand from APR Applied Pharma Research s.a.
  • AstraZeneca in agreements for the funding and global distribution of the University of Oxford's potential COVID-19 vaccine as well as the establishment of its global manufacturing and supply chain for the vaccine.
  • AstraZeneca in the negotiation of an exclusive research collaboration and licensing agreement to co-develop five engineered oncolytic vaccinia virus candidates with Transgene, a French biotech company.
  • Santen Pharmaceutical Co. in the negotiation of a collaboration agreement to research and develop gene therapy products for the treatment of an inherited retinal disease.
  • Novartis on its licensing and supply agreement with Spark Therapeutics for development, registration and commercialization rights outside the US, for one-time gene therapy known as Luxturna.


Chambers UK
Life Sciences: Transactional – UK-wide (2024)
Best Lawyers in the UK
Life Sciences Law (2024)
Who's Who Legal
Regulatory (EMEA) (2023)



  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Bristol University, 2008
  • Legal Practice Course, BPP University Law School, 2005
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, BPP University Law School, 2004
  • B.A. (Hons), Natural Sciences, Cambridge University, 2003


  • England and Wales