Gowling WLG advises Sosei Heptares on strategic partnership with Takeda

4 minute read
06 December 2019

Gowling WLG's award-winning Life Sciences team has advised long-standing client Sosei Heptares on its strategic multi-target partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited ("Takeda"). This is the second deal in less than a month for Sosei Heptares. Gowling WLG also advised on the earlier transaction with Genentech.

The partnership with Takeda will combine the proprietary GPCR-focused structure-based drug design capabilities at Sosei Heptares with Takeda's extensive discovery, development and therapeutic area expertise directed towards multiple GPCR targets nominated by Takeda. The nominated targets represent new therapeutic intervention points across a range of diseases. The collaboration will initially focus on high-priority gastrointestinal targets, but the agreement includes the potential expansion into other therapeutic areas.

Head of life sciences Patrick Duxbury led the deal, supported by life sciences partner Luke Kempton and director Jenny Davies.

Under the agreement, Sosei Heptares is eligible to receive up to $26 million in upfront and near-term payments in addition to research funding over the term of the agreement, plus future development, commercialisation and net sales-based milestone payments that may exceed $1.2 billion. Sosei Heptares is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on net sales of any licensed products by Takeda resulting from the partnership. Takeda receives exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize therapeutic agents for each novel target through specified pharmacological approaches in the collaboration.

Pat Duxbury said: "This is a significant, high-value deal in the life sciences sector with both these industry leading companies combining their expertise to create new programmes for challenging diseases and delivering new medicines. We have drawn on our pre-existing relationship and thorough understanding of the client's business together with the team's extensive sector experience to deliver the deal."

Sosei Heptares is an international biopharmaceutical group that focuses on the design and development of new medicines originating from its proprietary GPCR-targeted StaR® technology and Structure-Based Drug Design platform capabilities. Headquartered in Tokyo and with R&D facilities in Cambridge, UK, the group employs more than 170 people and works with many partners and collaborators including AstraZeneca, Allergan, Pfizer, Novartis, PeptiDream, Kymab, Daiichi-Sankyo, MorphoSys, Orexia, Inexia and Fujifilm.

The Boston office of Ropes & Gray Bostin advised Takeda.

Gowling WLG's global Life Sciences team combines extensive sector expertise with full-service capability. With a reputation for being "excellent for corporate and investment transactions" and "complex licence, research and collaboration agreements" (Chambers UK 2019), its clients range from global pharmaceutical companies and leading research and academic bodies, to small private companies and start-up businesses.

Head of Life Sciences, Patrick Duxbury, was recently awarded 'Life Sciences - Transactional Lawyer of the Year 2019' in the Who's Who Legal Awards. The award is the latest in a number of accolades for the firm's Life Sciences and Intellectual Property teams, which include being named "Firm of the Year" in three categories at this year's Global Intellectual Property Awards and many of our experts being distinguished in MIP's 2019 edition of "IP Stars".

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