Elese Hanson advises public and private companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, digital health, medical technology and software industries.  As an attorney in WilmerHale’s Technology Transactions and Licensing Practice, Ms. Hanson has drafted numerous strategic collaborations and complex licensing arrangements on behalf of clients at varying stages of their life cycle. Ms. Hanson is an active member in the firm’s Life Sciences and Big Data groups, regularly advising clients on transactions that involve cutting-edge technology, data rights and artificial intelligence (AI).

Ms. Hanson is a registered patent attorney and was previously in-house counsel for a boutique pharmaceutical company where she managed a portfolio of patent litigation. Ms. Hanson’s past experience brings a unique perspective to her clients, many of whom are in-house counsel and business development professionals. She enjoys working with them on the agreements that “get the business done,” regularly advising on development, supply and manufacturing agreements; master services agreements; software-as-a-service and other internet agreements; agreements for the acquisition and sale of technology assets; and related transition services agreements.

Ms. Hanson helped pioneer Women In Bio’s Boardroom Ready program, which has placed and promoted numerous executive women in the life sciences industry on corporate boards. She maintains a robust pro bono practice, counseling Boston-area charitable organizations and assisting individual veterans with claims for Combat-Related Special Compensation through the firm’s collaboration with National Veterans Legal Services Program.


  • Ms. Hanson has represented:

    • Arbor Biotechnologies, an early-stage life sciences company focused on genetic medicines, in its strategic research collaboration agreement with Vertex Pharmaceutical valued at up to $1.2 billion; strategic research collaboration with TCR2 Therapeutics focused on the development of allogeneic TRuC-T cell therapies; and worldwide non-exclusive license agreement with EdiGene to advance Ex Vivo engineered cell therapy programs.
    • Charles River Laboratories, an international contract research organization, in a multiyear strategic partnership with Valo Health to offer a transformative, AI-enabled drug discovery and development platform.
    • A computational biotechnology company in its negotiation of an exclusive license agreement for a preclinical-stage asset.
    • Editas Medicine, Inc., a clinical-stage genome editing company, in its license of its SLEEK (SeLection by Essential-gene Exon Knock-in) and AsCas12a gene editing technologies to Shoreline Biosciences.
    • Multiple international pharmaceutical companies in collaboration and license agreements to develop prescription digital therapeutics.
    • nference, Inc., an AI-based software company, in its data access agreements with academic medical centers for nference’s use of clinical data, in de-identified form, for acceleration of drug discovery and development, applying a unique cloud model intended to protect patient privacy.
    • Nuance Communications in its strategic partnership with Microsoft aimed at accelerating the delivery of ambient clinical intelligence technologies to reduce clinician burnout.
    • Verve Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a new approach to the care of cardiovascular disease, in its negotiation of an exclusive four-year global research collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, DePaul University College of Law, 2008

    • BS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, 2005

  • Admissions

    • Massachusetts

    • Illinois

    • US Patent and Trademark Office



Unless you are an existing client, before communicating with WilmerHale by e-mail (or otherwise), please read the Disclaimer referenced by this link.(The Disclaimer is also accessible from the opening of this website). As noted therein, until you have received from us a written statement that we represent you in a particular manner (an "engagement letter") you should not send to us any confidential information about any such matter. After we have undertaken representation of you concerning a matter, you will be our client, and we may thereafter exchange confidential information freely.

Thank you for your interest in WilmerHale.