Gowling WLG advises Sosei Heptares on a multi-million pound drug collaboration with Genentech

19 July 2019

Gowling WLG's award-winning Life Sciences team has advised long-standing client Sosei Heptares on a drug research collaboration and license agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. The deal is estimated to have a potential value of more than US$1 billion.

Head of life sciences Patrick Duxbury led the deal, supported by life sciences principle associate Christopher Freeth.

The arrangement will apply the specialist drug design capabilities of Sosei Heptares, and Genentech's discovery, development and therapeutic area expertise to multiple G-protein-coupled receptor targets. These targets represent promising new intervention points for treatments for a range of diseases.

Under the agreement, Sosei Heptares will receive US$26 million in upfront and near-term payments. It will also be eligible for future milestone payments that may exceed US$1 billion for achieving pre-specified research, development and commercialisation events, as well as net sales of potential future medicines resulting from the collaboration.

Pat Duxbury said: "This is a significant, high-value deal in the life sciences sector using a unique platform to ultimately support the development of treatments for a wide range of serious illnesses. In helping to deliver this exciting global collaboration, we have drawn on our detailed understanding of the client's business together with the team's extensive sector experience."

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.

In-house counsel advised Genentech.

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 '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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