Cassie J. Edgar - McKee, Voorhees & Sease PLC

Cassie is a creative connector integrating people, science, and legal solutions to drive business growth. She is a scientist and a registered patent attorney with over a decade of experience in intellectual property, regulatory, licensing & corporate law, and IP due diligence. Cassie has global experience protecting IP and driving regulatory approvals in the areas of biotechnology and bioengineering from plants to animals, across agricultural and pharmaceutical applications.

Prior to joining MVS, Cassie was Chief IP & Regulatory Officer for Genus, PLC. Cassie joined Genus in September 2014 from Pioneer DuPont, where she served for 14 years in research, legal and management roles including IP Counsel, Senior Regulatory Counsel, and Director in the Agricultural Biotechnology group.

With her direct scientific, IP, regulatory and business leadership experience, Cassie is able to advise clients in product life-cycle management. From discovery through post-product launch, including intellectual property, crisis management, compliance, stewardship, regulatory data package generation, lobbying, and obtaining regulatory permits and approvals with USDA, FDA, EPA, Cassie’s experience is well equipped to answer your business questions and help fulfill your strategic business goals. Careful coordination of IP and regulatory strategies is critical for biotechnology products. Cassie’s unique background allows her to coordinate patent prosecution, patent marking, enforcement, licensing, freedom to operate, and IP litigation programs while keeping potential regulatory implications in mind.

Cassie is an active speaker on gene editing IP and regulatory issues. She is heavily involved in industry group policy and regulatory committees including IowaBio. Cassie is also a mentor for the Iowa Agritech Accelerator in Des Moines, and serves on the finance council for the Diocese of Des Moines.

Cassie completed Harvard Business School’s General Management Program, adding academic training to the global business perspective she brings having served as in-house counsel for U.S. and U.K. publicly traded companies. She holds a B.S. in Molecular Genetics with honors from The Ohio State University, an M.S. in Crop Science with an emphasis on Biomathematics from North Carolina State University, and obtained her law degree with honors from Drake University.

Representative Deals

I’ve had the honor of serving as counsel across plant and animal agriculture applications as well as human health, both for multinational publicly traded companies and startups. Below are examples of agricultural transactions – this list isn’t intended to be a complete accounting of what I’ve worked on, but to provide context for general scope of experience.

These representative deals include multimillion-dollar global IP licenses, research collaborations, funding rounds, JV formation, and M&A activity. In a few cases, I’ve linked to the press release.

  • Biotechnology Patents
  • Chemical Patents
  • Design Patents
  • Licensing
  • Regulatory Law
  • Software & Business Methods Patents
  • Trade Secrets
  • Agritech
  • Animal Health
  • Fashion and Beauty
  • Financial Technology
  • Food and Beverage Technologies
  • Medical Devices
  • Pharma and Nutra

Professional Associations

FIN Capital

CRISPRCon advisory council

Food & Drug Law Institute




Iowa State Bar Association


Harvard Business School Cambridge, General Management Program, Executive Education

Drake University Law School, J.D., cum laude

North Carolina State University, M.S., Crop Science, emphasis in Biomathematics

The Ohio State University Columbus, B.S., Molecular Genetics, cum laude, with honors

Publications & Presentations

“IP & Regulatory Strategies for Licensing Regulated Technologies,” AUTM Central Virtual Meeting, July 2021

“Best Practices for Hiring and Working with IP Counsel,” Iowa Biotech Showcase & Conference, Virtual Event, March 2021

“Legal Q&A with Startup and Healthcare Attorneys” – Healthcare Startups, Clubhouse, March 2021

Iowa State University Crop Bioengineering Center Dinner Keynote Speaker: Gene Editing and Agriculture: Exploring the legal implications of CRISPR Technology. December 5, 2019.

Keystone Policy Center, “Control and Access: Intellectual Property and CRISPR-Cas Gene Editing for Innovation in Crop Agriculture.” October 2019.

Drake Law School guest lecture for Mark Bennett, Justice Reform & Innovation: “Genetic technologies: changing IP & Regulatory legal frameworks & social dialogue.” October, 2019.

CRISPRCon Madison Roundtable: Gene Editing and impact on global commodity trade, October, 2019.

American Chemical Society, Chemistry & the Law Series. “IP & Regulatory Issues in Gene Editing.” August, 2019.

Business Record Women of Influence event: award introduction, 2019.

BIO World Congress, IP/Regulatory issues in gene editing, July 2019.

BIO World Congress, gene editing in banana and coffee: regulatory opportunities, July 2019.

Drake Law School guest lecture for Jennie Zwagerman, Agricultural Law: IP and Regulatory Framework in Ag Biotechnology. February, 2019.

Drake Law Symposium. Regulatory & IP Considerations for Biotechnology. April, 2019.

Des Moines Partnership: Top 10 IP Tips. November, 2018.

CRISPRCon World Food Prize Roundtable: IP and licensing considerations for gene editing. October, 2018.

Iowa Bar presentation: IP & Regulatory matters in gene editing, 2018.

Bar & Court Admissions


United States Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. District Courts, Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa

Awards & Recognition

CropLife International, Leadership and Excellence in Advancing Ag-Biotech and Food Issues Award for Global Priority Projects

Iowa Women of Innovation, Business Innovation & Leadership Award Finalist

Biotechnology Law Report, Women in Biotechnology Law & Regulation

The Great Dichotomy: Patent Protection vs. Regulatory Approval

As a scientist in discovery mode, the primary focus is often on points of novelty and seeking patent protection for the invention.  The supporting data in the patent application serves as proof that this is a unique innovation, has never been seen before, and overcomes key challenges.  However, when the product is regulated, converse arguments […]

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A Blizzard and a Regulatory Freeze

For those in the Midwest today, I hope you are staying warm & are ready for the predicted snowfall and wind gusts currently in progress. There’s been a lot of news in recent months about agricultural biotechnology regulatory changes underway at various stages of public comment and implementation (7 CFR part 340, proposed EPA rules […]

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EPA Provides Draft Guidance for Regulation of Gene Edited Plants

Background Although the USDA gets the most attention related to the regulation of gene edited plants, in the United States products of biotechnology are regulated by the USDA, FDA and EPA under the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, updated most recently in 2017. Under this framework, the USDA, FDA and EPA each regulate in […]

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USDA’s new Part 340 and impact on gene edited plants

The USDA published a new version of agricultural biotechnology regulations (7 CFR Part 340, aka “Part 340”) which is the culmination of several years of revision and public review. In this revised rule, which will begin implementation 90 days from May 18th, developers now have more definitive guidelines on where plants will be exempt from […]

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Farm Bill Amendments to Enable CBD Oil and Hemp Industry

On June 27th, the Senate published the latest version of amendments to the Farm Bill which contain updates to the regulatory framework for hemp and derived products including CBD (cannabidiol) oil. Cannabidiol oil has documented health benefits such as effectiveness in treating certain types of seizures, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services […]

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National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard rules publish May 4: Ties to patent protection and gene editing

National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard rules publish May 4: Ties to patent protection and gene editing   In 2016 Congress passed an amendment to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to establish a national bioengineered food disclosure standard. This law was an important milestone in establishing transparency for consumers, ensuring labeling certainty for innovators developing […]

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Patent Covering Methods of Advanced Genomic Selection from Guinea Pigs to Corn Survives Opposition in EU

Effectively protecting improved genetics requires a multi-pillared strategy considering the biological organisms themselves, methods of use, methods of breeding, and any regulatory data protection. The EPO recently upheld a patent (EP 2813141, granted August 5, 2015) drawn to methods of breeding using genome-wide estimated breeding values (EBVs) to identify combinations of individuals in a population […]

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