Gowling WLG advises Heptares on $3.375 billion global R&D and commercialisation partnership to treat neurological disorders

3 minute read
07 April 2016

Gowling WLG's life sciences experts have advised long-standing client (Heptares Therapeutics (Heptares) on a definitive $3.375 billion agreement with Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allergan plc, a leading global pharmaceutical company.

Patrick Duxbury, UK head of life sciences at Gowling WLG led on the agreement with assistance from associate Elwin Morgan. The agreement relates to the licensing of exclusive global rights to a broad portfolio of novel subtype-selective muscarinic receptor agonists/selective compounds. These compounds target the treatment of major neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Under the agreement, Heptares, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation, will receive an upfront payment of $125 million. It is also eligible to receive milestone payments of up to approximately $3.25 billion plus royalties on net sales of all products resulting from the partnership.

To support ongoing development, Allergan will be committing up to $50 million to a joint research and development programme aimed at advancing possible treatments through the next phase of clinical studies.

Patrick said: "While an estimated 45 million people worldwide suffer with dementia, and Alzheimer's contributes to 60-70% of these cases, there are currently few approved therapies available for the symptoms associated with these debilitating neurological diseases.

"However, through this collaboration, Heptares and Allergan take an exciting step closer to advancing the development and commercialisation of such treatments. This is therefore an important milestone both for our client and for the medical world; we are thrilled to have been involved."

Heptares Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company focused on creating new medicines to treat central nervous system disorders, cancer, metabolic and other diseases. It has partnerships with a number of major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, such as Allergan, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, MorphoSys, Pfizer and Teva, for the development of its novel drug candidates and technologies. Gowling WLG has worked with Heptares for the past eight years, advising on a range of IP and collaboration matters.

Gowling WLG's Life Sciences team comprises almost 200 professionals in 18 offices around the globe with full-service expertise in IP, corporate, competition & EU, regulatory and dispute resolution matters. Patrick Duxbury was recently named in Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences 2016, alongside partners Paul Inman and Alan West.

Washington DC-based Covington and Burling acted for Allergan.

This transaction is subject to customary clearances under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

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