Gowling WLG advises on a trio of landmark COVID-19 projects

3 minute read
08 January 2021

Gowling WLG's international Life Sciences team has played an important part in the response to COVID-19 – advising on three key projects relating to potential vaccines.

The global law firm advised Precision NanoSystems, Inc (PNI) on its agreement with Can Sino Biologics Inc. to co-develop an mRNA lipid nanoparticle (mRNA-LNP) vaccine against COVID-19. It also advised AstraZeneca on its collaboration agreement for the development and distribution of the University of Oxford's recombinant adenovirus vaccine (known as AZD1222), which has now received regulatory approval. The team also advised BioNTech on IP matters relating to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which was the first to be approved and is now being rolled out widely.

Patrick Duxbury, Head of Life Sciences (UK), said: "We are hugely proud to have supported our clients in these projects including in relation to two COVID-19 vaccines which have now been approved. Delivering on these projects is the result of a huge team effort to support the global response to COVID-19. We drew on our international and sector expertise to help our clients move forward swiftly and to navigate the complex legal considerations involved."

Paul Armitage, Head of the firm's Vancouver Technology Industry Group, advised PNI on the negotiation of its agreement with Can Sino Biologics Inc. Legal Director Le Rong and Associate Nelson Tian of Gowling WLG's Guangzhou office advised on the Chinese law aspects of the deal. In the UK, Partner Paul Inman, Director Jenny Davies, Senior Associate Lydia Birch and Associate Dan Down advised BioNTech, while Patrick Duxbury and Jenny Davies advised AstraZeneca on its collaboration with the University of Oxford.

The trio of projects are the latest in a number of pieces of COVID-19 related advice provided by Gowling WLG. Teams across the firm have been assisting clients in their response to COVID-19, for example, the firm's commercial contracts specialists provided advice on a consortium agreement for the manufacture of ventilators for the NHS. Its Real Estate team also advised Warwickshire County Cricket Club on developing the stadium to create a drive-through COVID-19 testing station for regularly testing NHS staff. More details can be found on the firm's COVID-19 resource hub for clients.

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). Take a look at our short video highlighting some of the team's other 2020 milestones.

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