Rebecca L. Simmons, PHD

Rebecca L. Simmons, PhD
McNeill Baur PLLC
125 Cambridge Park Drive
Suite 301
Cambridge, MA 02140

Strategic and business-oriented intellectual property advice for pharmaceutical and chemical assets

Rebecca “Becky” Simmons’s practice includes strategic and business-oriented intellectual property counseling, patent preparation and prosecution, diligence, and opinions of counsel in the areas of pharmaceuticals and chemistry.

Becky has particular experience with the preparation and prosecution of US and foreign patents involving small molecules including molecular glues, enantiomers/diastereomers, isotopologues, polymorphs, and prodrugs, for use as immunotherapies, antibiotics, cannabinoid receptor agonists, and anti-cancer drugs. She also has significant experience with secondary patenting strategies to manage life cycle and maximize brand exclusivity, including method of use, process, solid form, formulation, and combination therapy patents, and patents involving assays and devices for use within the pharmaceutical industry.

In a counseling capacity, Becky regularly advises:

  • Start-ups on comprehensive IP strategy to meet business goals, working with the start-ups to establish initial patent and trademark protection and maximize preparedness for financings and other business opportunities;
  • Pharmaceutical companies from compound generation through clinical trials to optimize time to loss of exclusivity;
  • Venture capital/private equity firms on IP considerations related to equity investments and debt financing of royalty streams related to clinical- and commercial-stage pharmaceutical assets; and
  • Computation- and AI-based drug discovery companies on patentability and freedom to operate, and considerations unique to patenting inventions involving AI, engaging with cross-disciplinary legal and scientific teams as appropriate.

Becky also regularly reviews and advises on IP provisions of contracts and agreements, including license agreements, and planned public disclosures for her clients.

As a graduate student in Professor Andrew Myers’s laboratory at Harvard University, Becky developed a novel bioconjugation reaction based on the synthesis of a stable, biotin-tagged organopalladium(II) reagent, and used the reagent in pull-down experiments. Prior to completing her PhD, Becky worked in the Research Division at Hitachi Global Storage Technology and in the Storage Technology Division at IBM. She also worked as an undergraduate research assistant at Boston College and Ecole Superieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI) in Paris, France. At ESPCI, she assessed the chemoselectivity of a series of cross metathesis reactions catalyzed by the Hoveyda–Grubbs metathesis catalyst, and at Boston College, she focused on understanding the reactivity preferences of Mo-based metathesis catalysts.

Becky has received many awards and honors, including the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship and the Gabelli Presidential Scholarship. Becky is an inventor on US Patent Application No. 2007/0089995 A1, “Damascene Copper Plating for Coils in Thin Film Heads.” 


Select Publications

"Navigating Paris Convention Article(C)(4): The International Right of Priority in the United States and Abroad," 2018. 

"Storable Arylpalladium(II) Reagents for Alkene Labeling in Aqueous Media," Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133, 15870–15873, Sept. 4, 2011 (coauthor).

"Regioselective Cross-Metathesis Reaction Induced by Steric Hindrance," Journal of Organic Letters, Sept. 10, 2004 (coauthor).




2021-2023 Super Lawyers Massachusetts Rising Star




US Patent and Trademark Office




Boston University School of Law

JD, magna cum laude, 2018


Harvard University

PhD, Chemistry, 2010


Boston College

BS, French, summa cum laude, 2004


Boston College

BS, Chemistry, summa cum laude, 2004


Select Speaking Engagements


Summit on Life Sciences IP Due Diligence, "Appreciating the Finer Points of IP Due Diligence when the Transaction Involves AI, ML, or Platform Technologies," Boston, MA, November 29, 2023.


AUTM Webinar, TLO Toolbox: Hammer Out Successful License Agreements and Avoid Terminal Disclaimer Problems, July 30, 2020.