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Fall 2019

Andrew Bochner ’12: Pioneering the Next Wave of Biotech and Patent Law

“I SAVED MY STACK OF REJECTIONS from hundreds of law firms when no one was hiring,” says Andrew Bochner ’12, now the intellectual property counsel at Click Therapeutics, a medical software developer based in New York. “That stack still motivates me. It reminds me that all it takes is one chance, or one opportunity, for everything to change.”

As a pre-med biology major at Yeshiva University, Bochner wanted to be a doctor—until he learned about patent law during his junior year. After making a quick pivot from studying for the MCAT to taking the LSAT, he won a full scholarship to Brooklyn Law School. Today, he works at the forefront of biotech, software, and intellectual property in a fast-changing field.

Digital therapeutics companies like Click Therapeutics employ technology to supplement or replace traditional clinical therapy. Patients are prescribed software as a medical device that could work alongside or in place of drug treatments. For example, the software could use cognitive or motivational stimulation to promote behavioral change, and capture data to track progress. Digital therapeutics apps focus on delivering clinical outcomes and are validated through rigorous clinical trials. As software therapeutics, Click’s products are personalized to optimize engagement and outcomes.

Click Therapeutics’ current product, an app called Clickotine, is marketed directly to consumers to help them quit smoking. To expand its future reach, the company is focusing on prescription-only products, said Bochner, who is responsible for all facets of IP, licensing, and related transactional matters.

In January, Click Therapeutics announced a $300 million partnership with Otsuka America, a subsidiary of a Tokyo-based global pharmaceutical company, to develop an FDA-approved app to treat major depressive disorder.

“The app is based on Emotional Faces Memory Task technology, which is a proprietary system monitored by doctors to trigger neurobiological responses in the brain related to cognitive control and emotion processing,” Bochner said.

The path into biotech and patent law for Bochner was somewhat circuitous. He first worked as an intern for Celgene, a global biopharmaceutical company, during his second summer and third year of law school.

“At Celgene, I learned the importance of talking to my clients— the scientists and inventors—and just schmoozing with them,” he said. “I found out what they were working on and sometimes discovered that what they thought was insignificant could actually be a critical development in the patent world. I was learning by doing.”

Then, during his last semester of law school, he interned at Weiss & Arons, a patent firm in the New York City suburbs, which offered him his first job as an associate after graduation. “That firm focused on software and medical device work, which opened up a whole new field I was excited to explore,” Bochner said. He later added to his experience and expertise in intellectual property as associate at Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman and at Wiggin and Dana, both in New York. His legal and scientific paths finally merged at Click Therapeutics.

“Because of my background in biology, as well as technology and software, the opportunity at Click was a perfect fit for me,” said Bochner. Today, he shares his career experience and wisdom as an advisor with the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic.

“Law students should remember that their career is built on more than one job,” he said. “It’s built on experiences and having a network of people to call on in the future. So many people I met at Brooklyn continue to help me now with their friendship and advice.

And for that, I’m grateful.”

by Elaine Friedman