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Paul Fehlner has over 28 years of experience in life sciences intellectual property.

Dr. Fehlner leads Axcella’s Intellectual Property and product exclusivity strategy. Prior to assuming this role, Dr. Fehlner was a Principal of Life Sciences Innovation LLC, a consulting company he founded in 2017 to advise on complex IP business strategy for products and technologies in life sciences, develop capabilities of legal and IP professionals, and provide BD&L support for research institutes, companies, and investors. He has been named to the IAM Strategy 300 World’s Leading Patent Professionals for the past four years.

Previously, Dr. Fehlner spent nine years as the Head of Intellectual Property for Novartis Pharma in Basel, Switzerland. In this role, he led a team responsible for obtaining, maintaining, and enforcing IP rights. The team created holistic portfolios of patents, trademarks, regulatory exclusivities, and reputation for Novartis products.

Dr. Fehlner joined Novartis in 2008 from Baker Botts, where he was a partner specializing in IP counselling and strategic planning in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, as well as litigation. Prior to that he was an associate and partner at Darby & Darby, with earlier experience as Biotechnology Counsel for Rhône-Poulenc Rorer and as an associate for boutique IP firm Klauber & Jackson. Dr. Fehlner started his career in 1990 as a law clerk in the biotech and pharmaceutical group at Pennie & Edmonds. In addition to life sciences, Dr. Fehlner has worked on chemical and material sciences technologies.

Dr. Fehlner has a JD from Fordham University School of Law, a PhD in immunology and biochemistry from Rockefeller University (Lois P Markey Fellow), and a BS in chemistry from Haverford College (high honors; Phi Beta Kappa).



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What led you to join / drew you to Axcella? 
Great people at the company combined with a platform that has tremendous potential to improve, and even transform, lives.

What is your greatest non-professional achievement? 
I wrote the not-so-well known children’s books “Dog and Cat,” “No Way,” and “The Story of Christmas.” Oh, and six terrific children with my wonderful wife.

Favorite pastime outside of work?  
A toss-up between taking my Border Collies for a walk, making interesting food, and learning about wine – especially its taste. 

Favorite movie?  
“Groundhog Day” because it beautifully balances humor and drama, romance and edginess; and it reminds us that every day offers new chances to learn, grow, and change.

Favorite song/artist? 
Bob Dylan: great tunes, great lyrics, and a voice that encourages anyone to sing.