Rob Aboud Photo

Industry Experience

Vice President, Head of Business Strategy

GSK Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD)

Assistant General Counsel

GSK Legal Department, Business Development Transactions

GlaxoSmithKline, Inc.

Scientific Liaison Associate - External Scientific Affairs

Research Biochemist

Merck & Co. Inc.

Rob is one of the most experienced lawyers in the nation at crafting and negotiating R&D collaborations, complex licensing arrangements and option- based deals in the life sciences. He has deep expertise across a broad range of deal types for therapeutics, diagnostics, cell-based therapies and gene therapy. His deal experience includes major clinical stage co-development and co-commercialization alliances, joint ventures, option-based drug discovery, development and commercialization deals, as well as early stage research collaborations and evaluation agreements.

Rob’s more than 25 years of experience within the pharma and biotech industry are evident in his deep understanding of the nuances and challenges of these types of deals, and his ability to bring a creative problem- solving approach to both the business and legal issues that arise within R&D transactions. Faber’s clients also benefit from Rob’s ability to adeptly handle the most complex IP issues in structuring and negotiating deals as a result of his prior experience as a patent attorney.

experience +

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GSK Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD)

Vice President, Head of Business Strategy

  • Accountable for devising and implementing creative deal structures with biotech partners
  • Accountable for leading negotiations for amendments to CEEDD portfolio of existing strategic alliances

GlaxoSmithKline, Inc.

Assistant General Counsel, Business Development Transactions

  • Lead Counsel for several of GlaxoSmithKline’s most prolific deal-making R&D units and Therapy Areas
  • Leadership Team Member for CEEDD and for Immuno-Inflammation Therapy Area Unit
  • Negotiation and completion of more than 50 major collaboration and licensing deals across a broad range of biotech partners as well as academic and government entity partners
  • Several collaborations and licensing deals resulted in products that were commercially launched or are in the late-stage GSK pipeline , e.g. Benlysta® (belimumab) and Tanzeum™ (albiglutide)
  • Led drafting and negotiation of strategic partnerships that included GSK’s major R&D alliances such as Human Genome Sciences, Inc., ChemoCentryx, Inc., Prosensa Therapeutics, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Regulus, Inc. Dynavax, Inc., and Cellzome, Inc., among others
  • Lead Counsel on cutting-edge special projects such as the formation by GSK of the Cambridge-based NewCo. Tempero Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and GSK’s groundbreaking three-way gene therapy deal with the Telethon Institute of Gene Therapy (TIGET) and the Hospital San Raffaele of Milan, Italy

Merck & Co.

Scientific Liaison Associate- External Scientific Affairs

  • Led negotiations for numerous Material Transfer Agreements, Sponsored Research Agreements and Patent License Agreements for several therapeutic areas of Merck Research Labs

Research Biochemist

  • Developed key analytical assays and cGMP biopharmaceutical process purification steps and transferred steps successfully to manufacturing for several of Merck’s recombinant protein and vaccine products such as Vaqta® (HepA) and Gardasil® (HPV) vaccines
  • Co-authored several patents and publications on novel biopharmaceutical process purification steps and analytical assays

Prior to joining Glaxo Smith Kline, Rob was a patent attorney focusing on the preparation and prosecution of biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent applications and freedom to operate analyses at the Philadelphia office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP.

Recent Client work +


Industry Collaborations

  • WaVe LifeSciences Ltd.’s multi-program option-based collaboration and license agreement with Pfizer, Inc. for drug discovery, development and commercialization of novel gene-silencing stereo-specific oligonucleotide therapeutics across antisense and RNAi modalities for select metabolic targets. Deal terms include $40 Million in upfront payments and more than $870 Million in potential development and sales milestone payments, with tiered, double-digit royalties
  • Exicure Inc.’s multi-program option-based collaboration, and license agreement with Purdue Pharma, Inc. for Exicure's spherical nucleic acid clinical stage program and earlier programs based on its platform technology for delivering gene-regulating nucleic acid payloads into cells. Deal terms include up to $790 Million in upfront cash, an equity investment, and total potential development and sales milestone payments, with royalties
  • Massachusetts Eye & Ear Institute’s strategic exclusive license, collaboration and commercialization agreement with Lonza, Inc. granting rights to Lonza for providing commercial sublicenses for the global development and commercialization of Mass Eye & Ear Institute’s novel Ancestral AAV Vector gene therapy technology for multiple therapeutic areas
  • Magenta Therapeutics, Inc. for its exclusive license agreement with Harvard University for the in-license of novel stem-cell-based transplantation, conditioning and mobilization technologies from Harvard as the basis for Magenta’s $48.5 Million Series A Financing
  • H3 Biomedicine Inc.’s drug discovery collaboration and license agreement with Foundation Medicine, Inc. for the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for cancer using FMI’s genomics database
  • Navitor Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s drug discovery collaboration and license option agreement with X-Chem for discovery of novel small molecules targeting mTORC1 activation.
  • Unum Therapeutics, Inc.’s Exclusive license agreement with National University of Singapore for the in-license of core platform technology
  • H3 Biomedicine Inc.’s drug discovery collaboration and license agreement with Selvita (PL:SLV) for its novel kinase drug discovery platform
  • Evaluation and Option Agreements for numerous biotech clients as a prelude to larger strategic deals with big pharma or larger biotech partners

Strategic Transactions

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals acquisition of Sirna Therapeutics from Merck for $175 million plus milestones and royalties- led the licensing and IP asset purchase agreement aspects of the deal
  • Massachusetts Eye & Ear Institute’s exclusive license to 5am Ventures-backed gene therapy NewCo Akouos Therapeutics as part of the formation of Akouos, for Ancestral Technology AAV gene therapy vectors licensed from Mass. Eye & Ear Institute
  • X-Biotix Inc.’s strategic collaboration and license agreement with X-Chem, Inc. for drug discovery and development of anti-infectives therapeutics as part of the formation of X-Biotix as a NewCo spinout of X-Chem, Inc.
  • Formation of a NewCo spinout from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute- led the collaboration and license option agreement for the core platform IP license and collaboration for the NewCo client
  • Cross-License and cross-border strategic partnership between client ProThera Biologics, Inc. and Canadian biotech ProMetic Life Sciences, Inc. to develop, manufacture and commercialize plasma- derived Inter-alpha Inhibitor Proteins for treating orphan diseases

Community +

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Rob has been a frequent speaker and panelist at American Conference Institute (ACI) Legal and Business Development Conferences and CBI Legal Conferences on Strategic Collaborations and License Agreements. He is also an active member of his church and a volunteer with several charitable organizations.

Bar Admissions
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • ‍Temple University, J.D., cum laude
  • ‍Rutgers University, M.S. Biochemistry
  • Albright College, B.S., Biochemistry, magna cum laude