Gowling WLG advises Eisai on the divestment of Zonegran® (zonisamide) in Europe and other regions to Advanz Pharma

3 minute read
16 June 2021

Gowling WLG's Life Sciences team has advised Eisai Co., Ltd. on an agreement to divest its rights for the antiepileptic agent Zonegran® (zonisamide) in Europe and other regions to Advanz Pharma.

Under the agreement, Eisai will transfer to Advanz Pharma the rights to Zonegran® in a number of European countries, the Middle East, Russia, and Australia. Eisai will continue to act as the distributor in Russia and Australia, through its local affiliated companies, for an agreed transition period. In addition, Eisai and Advanz Pharma have agreed to enter into a supply agreement under which Eisai's UK affiliate, Eisai Manufacturing Limited, will serve as Advanz Pharma's supplier of Zonegran for the transferred territory for an agreed transition period.

Gowling WLG life sciences partner Luke Kempton led on the deal, supported by partner Patrick Duxbury and legal director Mathilda Davidson. Partner Neil Hendron advised on corporate issues, partner Bernardine Adkins on anti-trust issues, with employment advice provided by principal associate Hannah Swindle. They worked closely with Eisai's Simon Thomas, General Counsel EMEA, Oliver Arnott, Legal Counsel EMEA and James Hiscock, Senior Legal Counsel EMEA.

Luke Kempton said: "Having worked closely with the client for a number of years and advised on the acquisition and divestment of other products in its portfolio, we were well-placed to support. Our experience and cross-firm approach ensured all aspects of the deal were managed effectively, with a focus on commercial outcomes."

Simon Thomas, General Counsel, EMEA at Eisai added: "This divestiture agreement with Advanz Pharma will lead to a maximisation of Zonegran®'s availability to bring wider treatment choice for patients across the region. For an international deal of this kind Gowling WLG's experience and the team's understanding of the sector and knowledge of Eisai was invaluable throughout."

Eisai is a global research and development-based pharmaceutical company, headquartered in Japan. Established in 1941, it has grown to employ more than 10,000 employees worldwide and reports an annual revenue of ¥645.9 billion. Gowling WLG has worked with Eisai for more than 13 years.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP advised Advanz Pharma on this transaction.

Gowling WLG's global Life Sciences team combines extensive sector expertise with full-service capability. Its strong reputation in the market has seen it described as a "sterling commercial life sciences practice for complex licence, research and collaboration agreements" and "excellent for corporate investment transactions involving spin-offs" (UK Chambers & Partners). Clients range from global pharmaceutical companies and leading research and academic bodies, to small private companies and start-up businesses.

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