Gowling WLG advises AstraZeneca on a $6.9 billion collaboration to develop and commercialise a new cancer treatment

05 April 2019

Gowling WLG's life sciences experts have advised long-standing client AstraZeneca on a $6.9 billion cancer drug collaboration agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (Daiichi Sankyo).

Head of life sciences Patrick Duxbury led the deal, supported by intellectual property (IP) principal associate Jenny Davies and IP senior associate Christopher Freeth.

The arrangement will see the two companies develop and commercialise trastuzumab deruxtecan (DS-8201); a proprietary antibody-drug conjugate and potential new targeted medicine for treating cancers such as breast and gastric cancer.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay Daiichi Sankyo an upfront payment of $1.35bn. There will also be contingent payments of up to $5.55bn, comprising $3.8bn for achieving certain regulatory milestones and other contingencies, as well as $1.75bn for sales-related milestones.

Pat Duxbury said: "This is a significant, high-value deal in the life sciences sector and one which further supports AstraZeneca's science-led strategy in oncology. A genuinely global collaboration, this drew on the strength of our international life sciences team, combined with our understanding of AstraZeneca's business and extensive sector experience."

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular, renal & metabolism and respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in more than 100 countries and its medicines are used worldwide.

Latham & Watkins LLP advised Daiichi Sankyo.

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.

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