Kate E. McElhone, PhD

Kate E. McElhone, PhD
O: 858-925-7122
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McNeill Baur PLLC
3111 Camino Del Rio North
Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92108

Offering a unique combination of high-level technical expertise and broad IP counseling experience

Kate McElhone, PhD, a skilled organic chemist, focuses her practice on patent prosecution and counseling in the chemical space. She deploys her varied background as a medicinal chemist and as an attorney in both in-house and traditional law firm settings to assist clients with patent prosecution, due diligence, and IP strategy development. While Kate’s portfolio emphasizes small-molecule pharmaceuticals, she practices extensively across a diverse range of technologies, including protein and peptide therapeutics, molecular biology, DNA sequencing, surface chemistry, polymers, geochemistry, and diagnostics. Kate also has experience drafting contentious documents in support of ANDA litigation matters and reexamination proceedings.

Kate brings her extensive technical background to bear in her counseling work. Kate earned her doctoral degree in organic chemistry, where she focused her research on the total synthesis of complex marine natural products. Kate honed her technical expertise further as a medicinal chemist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she led projects targeting therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and psoriasis.

On the legal front, Kate earned her law degree, magna cum laude, while working full-time as a patent agent at Johnson & Johnson. Following law school, Kate served as a term clerk for the Honorable Judge Jeffrey T. Miller in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She developed her patent prosecution, counseling, and litigation support skills as an associate at Morrison & Foerster, LLP.

Prior to joining McNeill Baur PLLC, Kate was an Associate Director of Global Intellectual Property at Illumina, Inc., a publicly-traded company focused on life science research. In this position, Kate advised the company on IP strategy, transactional matters, product development, and regulatory concerns.


Select Publications

A synthetic approach to the phorboxazoles - A strategy for the synthesis of the C1-C19 polyketide fragment,” Tetrahedron Lett., 59(2):117-20 (2017) (coauthor)

America Invents Act Updates Take Final Form,” Jan. 3, 2013 (coauthor). 

Mayo v. Prometheus: The Supreme Court Finds Certain Medical Diagnostic Claims are Not Patent-Eligible,” March 20, 2012 (coauthor).

2-(N-Benzyl-N-phenylsulfonamido)alkyl amide derivatives as γ-secretase inhibitors,” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 22(22):6828-31 (2012) (coauthor).

The Threshold Patentability Question:  The Supreme Court Entertains Oral Arguments in Mayo v. Prometheus,” Dec. 8, 2011 (coauthor).

Back in the High Court Again:  Prometheus v. Mayo,” June 20, 2011 (coauthor).

Discovery and Evaluation of BMS-708163, a Potent, Selective and Orally Bioavailable γ-Secretase Inhibitor,” ACS Med. Chem. Lett., 1(3):120-4 (2010) (coauthor).

The amyloid-β rise and γ-secretase inhibitor potency depend on the level of substrate expression,” J. Biol Chem., 283(34):22992-3003 (2008) (coauthor).

Amino-caprolactam derivatives as γ-secretase inhibitors,” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 17(21):5790-5 (2007) (coauthor).



US Patent and Trademark Office



University of San Diego School of Law, JD 2008


University of California, Berkeley

PhD, Organic Chemistry, 1999


Duke University

BA, Chemistry, 1991