Morgan Xu, PhD

Xianfeng Morgan Xu, PhD


Dr. Xianfeng Morgan Xu advises biotech and life sciences clients on their intellectual property and transactions needs. His practice focuses on all aspects of patent lifecycle management and IP-centric agreement negotiations. Dr. Xu has more than a decade of experience in US patent prosecution, global patent procurement, post-grant proceedings, and IP landscape counseling. His transactions experience includes multibillion-dollar collaboration agreements, sponsored research agreements, patent license agreements, master supply agreements, and materials transfer agreements. He also assists clients with patent litigations, M&A diligence, freedom-to-operate and invalidity opinions, and FDA and USDA regulatory matters.

Dr. Xu has worked with technologies in fields such as immuno-oncology, gene editing, microbiome, cell and gene therapy, glycobiology, diagnostics, next-gen sequencing, metagenomics, small molecule drugs, bioenergy, medical devices, and agribiotech. His therapeutics-related experience spans the full spectrum of modalities, including antibodies, Fc fusions, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), proteolysis targeting chimera (PROTAC), small RNA, CAR-T, and viral vectors.

In addition to his legal career, Dr. Xu has more than 10 years of laboratory research experience focusing on molecular cell biology and developmental genetics. Before joining the firm, he conducted postdoctoral research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory studying cell-to-cell communication in plant stem cell signaling. He published as the lead author in journals such as Science, Current Biology, PNAS, and Plant Cell, and wrote review articles for Trends in Plant Science and Current Opinion of Plant Biology.

Dr. Xu is bilingual in English and Chinese (Mandarin). He often collaborates with Arnold & Porter's Shanghai colleagues in cross-border matters. He also maintains an active pro bono practice centered around assisting low-income immigrants and social entrepreneurs.


  • Leading public clinical-stage biotech company in developing and managing a microbiome patent portfolio of 300+ cases through its genesis from a VC-backed single-physician team.
  • Multinational agribusiness in patent matters related to all aspects of crop design, breeding and biotechnology.
  • Leading tobacco company in IP and diligence related to biotech engineering for harm reduction and trait development.
  • Public clinical-stage biotech company developing immunotherapies for cancer and inflammatory diseases in IP diligence and transactional matters.
  • Emerging biotech company developing precision diagnostics technologies in patent prosecution, IP strategies, and transactional matters.
  • China-based global biopharma company developing immune-oncology products in IP strategies and transactional matters.
  • Multiple large biopharma companies in BPCIA-related post-grant proceedings at the USPTO, including inter partes review, post-grant review and ex parte reexamination.
  • Public clinical-stage biotech company developing immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases in developing global IP protection and China partnership strategies.
  • Emerging start-up company in IP protection of its groundbreaking technologies to address gene and cell therapy manufacturing challenges.


Drafting Tips
The Licensing Journal, Vol. 40, No. 5
Merger Clauses: "Boilerplate" Results in Unexpected Patent License


ABA/BNA Award for Excellence—Intellectual Property Law
Awarded by The George Washington University Law School (2017)
Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow
Awarded by the Life Sciences Research Foundation to exceptional postdoctoral scientists (2009)
Chapman Fellow
Awarded by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and sponsored by The Mary K. Chapman Foundations to support groundbreaking biomedical research (2008)


  • JD, The George Washington University Law School, with honors
  • PhD, Plant Biology, The Ohio State University
  • BS, Biotechnology, Peking University
  • District of Columbia
  • US Patent and Trademark Office
  • Chinese (Mandarin)

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