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Gowling WLG advises AstraZeneca on key transaction with Sanofi

09 March 2017

Experts from the firm's life sciences group have assisted the global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca on a significant transaction.

MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced on 3 March an agreement to develop and commercialise MEDI8897 jointly.

MEDI8897 is a monoclonal antibody for the prevention of lower respiratory tract illness (LRTI) caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the most prevalent cause of LRTI among infants and young children. MEDI8897 is currently in a Phase IIb clinical trial in pre-term infants who are ineligible for Synagis, the current standard of care medicine, and the development plan includes a proposed Phase III trial in healthy full-term and late pre-term infants.

Patrick Duxbury, a partner in the Gowling WLG life sciences team team worked with AstraZeneca Senior Counsel Sarah Jackson on the transaction. Patrick said: "It has been a pleasure to have been so closely involved in advising on this important strategic arrangement for AstraZeneca. We were delighted to have been involved"

Under the terms of the global agreement, Sanofi Pasteur will make an upfront payment of Euros 120 million and pay up to Euros 495 million upon achievement of certain development and sales-related milestones. The two companies will share all costs and profits equally. AstraZeneca will continue to lead all development activity through initial approvals, and AstraZeneca will retain MEDI8897 manufacturing activities. Sanofi-Pasteur will lead commercialisation activities for MEDI8897.


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