Healthcare & Life Sciences

Drew & Napier has an award-winning, multi-disciplinary Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice, with expertise in intellectual property, dispute resolution, commercial and transactional, as well as regulatory practices.

Our clients include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical devices manufacturers and governmental agencies.

Drew & Napier was the first Singaporean law firm to be recognised by Asian-Counsel Representing Corporate Asia 2010 as Life Sciences Firm of the Year.

The work of the Life Sciences Practice Group spans across all legal and regulatory areas, and has strengths in intellectual property, dispute resolution and registration work, as well as corporate commercial support. 

Practice Areas  

Dispute Resolution

We are at the forefront of life sciences intellectual property disputes in Singapore. We have successfully represented the world-famous Institut Pasteur, Sanofi and Biorad in enforcing the patent for the HIV-2 virus and diagnostic kits to detect the HIV-2 virus in a ground breaking patent case in Singapore. The Singapore Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the patent owners and dismissed the appeals (See the reported decisions at Institut Pasteur & Anor v Genelabs Diagnostics Pte Ltd & Anor [2000] SGHC 53 and Genelabs Diagnostics Pte Ltd v Institut Pasteur and Another [2001] 1 SLR 121).

We have also successfully represented Novartis AG and Novartis (Singapore) Pte Ltd (“Novartis”) in their application to amend a Patent, post-grant, under section 83 of the Singapore Patents Act. This application to amend was made after Novartis started a suit for patent infringement against Ranbaxy (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. This is the first reported Singapore case in which the hearing for the patent amendment was heard separately from the main infringement and invalidation hearing. The Singapore High Court found that the proposed amendments did not “add matter” to the Patent, and also that there was no undue delay on the part of Novartis in applying to amend the Patent in Singapore and granted the amendment. (See the reported decision at Novartis AG and Novartis (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Ranbaxy (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd [2012] SGHC 253).

The Practice also currently represents:

  • Novartis in Suit 150/2011/R and 1085/2012/G in a patent infringement action involving an invention relating to drugs for treatment of high blood pressure

  • sanofi aventis in Suit 305/2010/Y for alleged infringement of patents in the treatment of breast cancer

  • Baxter Healthcare in Suit 901/2008/B involving allegations of product liability concerning haemodialysis machines

  • sanofi aventis in Originating Summons No. 991/2011/L for a determination under Section 16(1B)(c) of the Medicines Act (Cap 176) on issues concerning patent declarations by a generic company

Corporate Commercial and Regulatory

The Practice has expertise and strength in all corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. We have advised many pharmaceutical, life sciences, biotechnology, health care, and food and beverage companies.

These include:

  • Advising on labelling, advertising, as well as sales and promotion regulations for the pharmaceutical, medical devices, and the food and beverage industries

  • Advised a healthcare institution in relation to compliance with medical laws and regulations on promotional programmes

  • Reviewing and drafting clinical trial agreements, research and development agreements, licensing agreements, franchise agreements, funding agreements

  • Advising on all aspects of employments and other regulatory matters, including employment agreements, secondment arrangements, and termination of employees

  • Assisting in the due diligence, negotiations and acquisitions of pharmaceutical products and companies, hospitals and health care institutions.


Who’s Who Legal
Life Sciences 2020

Leading Lawyers:
Tony Yeo (10 consecutive years) - Global Elite Thought Leader​
Benjamin Gaw (10 consecutive years) - Global Elite Thought Leader​

“Drew & Napier [is] recognised as [a] leader in [the] domestic market.”

Tony Yeo of Drew & Napier is a "seasoned litigator" who "stands out among the pack."
Clients commend him for being highly engaged and hardworking" and for always "focusing on the best interest of clients."

Tony Yeo is recommended across our life sciences chapters for his wide-ranging expertise in the area."

Benjamin Gaw of Drew & Napier is " precise, knowledgeable and extremely commercial" in his approach, and "particularly good with biotechnology and high-tech issues associated with medical devices and medical systems." Peers call him "efficient and always a delight to work with."

Clients " warmly endorse" Benjamin Gaw for his excellent work in the field of patent law. He is particularly well-regarded for is deep knowledge life sciences and pharmeceutical regulation."

"Benjamin Gaw is one of the region's foremost lawyers in pharmecutical and healthcare regulatory matters."

Chambers Asia-Pacific
Intellectual Property 2020 - Band 1 for 13 consecutive years

Senior Statesman:
Morris John

Leading Individual:        
Tony Yeo

Sources say the IP Practice is a "powerhouse in Singapore with very talented lawyers, who think globally while acting locally."

" The strength of the firm is the IP department which is very efficient and whose turnaround time is fast."

The team is also praised for being “very attentive to client needs, technically strong and good at project management," adding that it is "very good at ensuring a seamless service".

"They are very ready to discuss our business needs, and able to adapt and provide advice."

"They know their stuff, are professional and pretty good on new legal changes."

"They are really lovely to deal with; very hospitable and well organised. Everything you would expect from a top firm."

"A strong IP practice that provides sound and practical advice."

“The team is very responsive, knowledgeable and hard-working. Their grasp of details is impressive.”

“They are a very strong team, especially when it comes to contentious IP work.”

The Asia Pacific Legal 500
Intellectual Property 2020 - Tier 1 for 21 consecutive years

Leading Individual:
Tony Yeo for 10 consecutive years
Intellectual Property 2020 - Hall of Fame - Tony Yeo

Recommended Lawyers:
Yvonne Tang
Lim Siau Wen

Next Generation Lawyer:
Meryl Koh for 4 consecutive years

A fantastic legal team. They work closely as one unit. Their depth of knowledge, aggressiveness in litigation strategy and business savviness is outstanding.

“Drew & Napier LLC’s ‘tenacious’ team is ‘meticulous and strategic in providing advice, seeing the big picture while drilling down into the finer points’.”

“Drew & Napier is the best there is when it comes to litigation.”

“The lawyers at Drew & Napier LLC excel in their ‘knowledge of local legislation’ and litigation.”

“[Tony] is excellent and experienced.”

“The ‘meticulous’ Meryl Koh is a ‘great strategist’.”

“[Cecelia] is flexible in responding to clients’ needs.”

Managing Intellectual Property
World IP Survey 2019: Singapore - Leading IP firm for 20 consecutive years

Singapore Trade Mark Prosecution IP Firm of the Year 2019

Singapore Prosecution IP Firm of the Year 2018

Singapore Contentious IP Firm of the Year 2014-2017

Ranked Tier 1 for Patent Contentious; Trade mark Prosecution; Trade mark Contentious; Copyright
Leading firm in Patent Prosecution

IP Stars 2020:

Tony Yeo – Trade Mark Star and Patent Star in Patent litigation, Patent prosecution, Trade Mark litigation, Trade mark prosecution  
Yvonne Tang – Trade Mark star
Lim Siau Wen – Trade Mark Star; Top 250 Women in IP (2019)

“Definitely, a prominent team for any type of IP work”

“Tony is responsive, quick thinking and highly practical in his advice.”

“Tony [Yeo] is charming, knowledgeable, and has a knack of explaining things simply and in the context of the overall strategy. He is an effective litigator and is incisive in cross-examinations."
“Particularly forceful in IP litigation”.

“They are hard-working, thorough and responsive, and understand well the client’s objectives and resolve disputes effectively and efficiently.”
Asia IP
Intellectual Property 2019 – Tier 1 for 8 consecutive years

Singapore Patent Firm of the Year 2019
Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year 2018
Singapore Patent Firm of the Year 2017-2018
Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year 2012-2016

Patent Prosecution – Tier 1
Patent Contentious – Tier 1
Trade Mark Prosecution – Tier 1
Trade Mark Contentious – Tier 1
Copyright – Tier 1

“Drew & Napier is a go-to firm for contentious IP work”

“Tony Yeo offers creative lawyering and business acumen.”

Asia IP Experts 2016 Endorsed Individuals:
Tony Yeo – Patents, Enforcement, Litigation, Pharma & Biotech
Lim Siau Wen – Trade Mark
Cecelia Girvin – Patents, Trade Mark, Copyright, Litigation
Morris John – Patents, Trade Mark, Copyright, Litigation

Asian Legal Business Magazine
Intellectual Property rankings 2020 (Singapore) – Tier 1 in the areas of Patents and Trademarks/Copyrights for 8 consecutive years

IAM Patent 1000
Litigation and transactions – Gold band in 2019
Prosecution – Recommended in 2019
Transactions – Recommended in 2019

Endorsed Individuals:
Tony Yeo – Gold band for litigation (2019)
Lim Siau Wen – Recommended for prosecution (2019)
Yvonne Tang – Recommended for prosecution (2019)
Cecelia Girvin – Recommended for prosecution (2018)

Sources say that Drew & Napier LLC “remains “one of the best” at what it does. With its “tremendously hardworking” team offering “sensible commercial advice” and applying “great strategic thinking” to every patent matter, it is a one-stop shop that “you can trust, always feeling that your case is in safe hands”.”

Drew & Napier’s “enviable share of the Singaporean patent prosecution market and its frequent appearances in the courtroom are testament to the trust accorded it by both Singaporean and foreign clients…”

“On an equal footing with the big global legal brands”, local player Drew & Napier casts a long shadow on Singapore’s patent landscape.

Managing Director of Intellectual Property Tony Yeo is most at home when resolving intricate patent disputes on behalf of major clients in the healthcare and life sciences arenas. Renowned for his silver-tongued advocacy, Yeo is a master of cross-border and technically advanced patent infringement suits.

A certified patent valuation analyst, Yvonne Tang regularly serves up discerning IP strategy guidance to her dedicated roster of clients – while (Lim Siau Wen) is described as a “very responsive” practitioner who “does a great job at a competitive rate”.

Consultant and all-rounder Cecelia Girvin dispenses invaluable, commercially on-point advice to the group’s host of household-name clients.

Asialaw Profiles
Intellectual Property 2018 – Outstanding

Market Leading Lawyer:
Tony Yeo

“The quality of work and service is excellent – a notch above most of the other premier law firms.”

Sources say: “The IP team at Drew & Napier provides very high quality of work…They are timely in their responses and strategic in thinking and very knowledgeable in their specialist fields.”

Asian-Counsel – Representing Corporate Asia Survey
Life Sciences 2010 – First Singaporean firm to be awarded Firm of the Year
Practical Law Company Which Lawyer?
Life Sciences 2011/2012 – Recommended firm for 5 consecutive years

Endorsed individuals
Life Sciences 2011/2012
Tony Yeo
Benjamin Gaw

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