We advise our life sciences clients on their most complex, transformative matters.
We leverage our deep understanding of the sector to provide our Life Sciences clients with integrated advice, enabling them to navigate their most important and challenging legal needs.
Many of the lawyers in our team have life sciences backgrounds and have experience working in the industry.
We offer clients a genuine interest and deep understanding of the sector, combined with integrated and dedicated advice to achieve clients’ objectives in ways which are commercially viable and practically achievable.
Our clients include companies active in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices, as well as other organizations such as healthcare providers, regulatory authorities and academic institutions.
We help our clients address a wide range of issues across the life sciences industry, including:
An elite global M&A firm with a deep understanding of the life sciences sector, we advise life sciences clients on all manner of M&A transactions, from their most complex, transformative deals to bolt-on acquisitions, joint ventures and minority investments. Our team operates on a cross-practice, cross-jurisdictional basis with an offering that is market leading and integrated across all aspects of a transaction.
Novartis on its $5.2bn acquisition of Xiidra from Takeda/Shire, the separation and spin-off of its Alcon eye care business, its asset swap (oncology, OTC and vaccines assets) with GSK and the sale of its animal health business to Eli Lilly.
AstraZeneca on its $39bn acquisition of Alexion, the financing of its collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo, its collaboration with Merck & Co., its acquisition of Acerta and its defense of Pfizer’s takeover bid. See press release for the Alexion acquisition.
Rayner Surgical on its acquisition of OMIDRIA from Omeros in a transaction valued in excess of $1 billion. See press release.
Agilent on its $695m acquisition of Resolution Bioscience. See press release.
Thermo Fisher on its €725m acquisition of the viral vector manufacturing business of Novasep.
Recordati on its €750m acquisition of EUSA Pharma (UK).
Shareholders of MYR GmbH
Shareholders of MYR GmbH on the sale of this German biotech to Gilead Sciences for approximately €1.15bn in cash plus a potential future milestone payment of up to €300m. See press release.
Merck KGaA on the sale of its consumer healthcare business to P&G. See press release.
Advent on its €1.9bn acquisition of Zentiva, Sanofi’s European generics business and the add-on acquisition of Alvogen’s CEE business. See press release.
Boehringer Ingelheim on its €20bn asset swap with Sanofi.
Licensing & collaboration
We regularly advise clients in the life sciences sector on all manner of license and collaboration transactions, including co-development and co-commercialization collaborations, early-stage joint research collaborations, options to license, technology licenses and spin-outs involving universities and other academic institutions. We are a tight-knit and collaborative team that brings the benefit of our collective knowledge and experience to each transaction.
Novartis on its co-development and co-commercialization agreement with UCB regarding disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson’s Disease.
AstraZeneca on its strategic oncology collaborations with Merck Inc. and Daiichi Sankyo.
BioNTech on numerous significant licensing deals and other collaborations in the field of mRNA products / individualized medicines, including with Pfizer for their COVID-19 vaccine, Genentech, Sanofi, Eli Lilly, Bayer Animal Health and Genmab.
Affimed on a strategic licensing and collaboration agreement with Roivant Sciences for the development of novel innate cell engagers against various types of cancer. See press release.
Scenic Biotech on a strategic cooperation with Genentech regarding the identification and research of genetic modifiers which can be used for the novel treatment of rare, hereditary diseases. See press release.
Ewopharma on a licensing agreement for two compounds/new chemical entities developed by Can-Fite BioPharma for the distribution in Central and Eastern Europe. See press release.
ViGeneron on a strategic collaboration with Biogen regarding the development and commercialization of gene therapy products based on ViGeneron’s proprietary AAV vectors for the treatment of inherited eye diseases.
Antitrust, competition and trade
Our market leading global antitrust practice has the depth and breadth of experience to support our life sciences clients as they face an increasingly complex and evolving global antitrust landscape. We have helped life sciences clients navigate global merger control and foreign direct investment regimes on their most complex and valuable M&A deals. We have a proven track record in negotiating licensing and collaboration deals, as well as advising on antitrust risk and compliance across all aspects of a product or collaboration life cycle. The life sciences industry remains subject to close regulatory scrutiny and we have extensive experience of advising on multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations, litigations and settlements.
- AstraZeneca on its $39bn merger with Alexion and various multi-billion dollar oncology collaborations with strategic partners.
- AstraZeneca on its $7bn acquisition of a majority equity stake in Acerta Pharma, a privately-owned biopharmaceutical company.
- Novartis on the merger control aspects of its transformational $20 billion asset swap with GSK (oncology, OTC and vaccine assets), including the sale of its animal health business to Eli Lilly.
- Novartis on its $8.7bn acquisition of AveXis.
Boehringer Ingelheim on the global coordination of its €20bn asset swap with Sanofi.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson on the global merger control aspects of its $30bn acquisition of Swiss biotechnology company Actelion Pharmaceuticals.
Zentiva on its acquisition of Alvogen’s Central and Eastern European business, including over 200 generic and OTC products covering 14 key markets.
BioNTech on various research and development collaboration agreements, including a collaboration with Pfizer to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.
Multiple pharmaceutical companies
Multiple pharmaceutical companies on the antitrust implications of different forms of contractual collaboration with actual or potential competitors and commercial conduct (such as pricing practices), patent settlement agreements and follow-on damages litigation.
Our top-ranked financial sponsor practice advises the full range of investor types on their most complex and important investments in the life science sector. Accelerated by the pandemic, technological advances and the digital transformation of the life science sector, financial sponsors are increasingly looking to invest in more innovative products and businesses that require more upfront funding, such as biologics, complex manufacturing/logistics or data/AI driven companies. These types of investments require specialised expertise, insight and advice.
Advent on its €1.9bn acquisition of Zentiva, Sanofi’s European generics business (and on the add-on acquisition of Alvogen’s CEE business). See press release.
- on its €2.74bn sale of BSN medical, the leading global medical device company, to Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA).
- on its €900m acquisition of Schülke & Mayr GmbH, one of the leading suppliers of hygiene and infection prevention solutions for skin and surfaces as well as wound antisepsis (and on the subsequent €262.5 on-sale of Schülke & Mayr’s “personal care” business to Ashland Global Holdings Inc.)
Charterhouse and their portfolio company Serb on the $800m acquisition of the BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals business from Boston Scientific Corporation. See press release.
- on its acquisition of a majority interest in Rayner Surgical Group Limited (Rayner), the global ophthalmology business and subsequent acquisition of OMIDRIA from Omeros Corporation, in a transaction valued in excess of $1 billion. OMIDRIA will become a key product in Rayner’s ophthalmology franchise, which includes intraocular lenses, ophthalmic viscoelastic devices and dry eye treatments.
- on CVC/Recordati, a portfolio company of CVC Capital Partners Fund VII, managed by one of the world’s leading private equity and investment advisory firms, on its agreement to acquire EUSA Pharma (UK) Limited (EUSA Pharma) for an enterprise value of €750 million.
- on its €365m acquisition of a 50% stake in DFE Pharma, a leading global excipients manufacturer for the pharmaceutical industry.
- on its acquisition of a majority interest in System C Healthcare, the UK’s leading health and social care software company. The transaction also encompasses a minority interest in Graphnet Health.
Qatar Investment Authority
Qatar Investment Authority on an investment in German biotech company CureVac (developer of mRNA-based therapies, including a COVID-19 vaccine).
Data and AI are increasingly key assets of life science companies, whether in drug discovery, clinical trials, diagnostics, personalized medicine, surgical robotics or the broad field of health apps. Many life sciences (and tech) companies start to commercialize health data through standalone business models while moving in highly regulated and politically/ethically sensitive environments. With our market leading data privacy practice, we advise our clients on the design of their data driven products from early stage on and support them in regulatory audits or data breach scenarios.
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) on a COVID-related collaboration with SeeChange Technologies, an Arm company.
CVC Capital Partners
CVC Capital Partners on its parallel acquisitions of stakes in System C and Graphnet from Symphony Technology Group.
Exact Sciences / Genomic Health
Exact Sciences/ Genomic Health on regulatory, data privacy, market access, compliance and reimbursement related questions as well as on general contractual arrangements regarding the data and software driven gene expression test “Oncotype” which quantifies the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence.
Essity / BSN Medial
Essity / BSN Medial on data privacy and compliance topics as well as on contractual arrangements regarding health apps and other digital health solutions.
Ottobock (a world leading prosthetics company) on a collaboration with a US/German start-up company regarding a digital and data driven motion analysis solution.
A software developer
A software developer on the design of health apps for use in various indications; on contracts with pharma partners for use of the apps; and on the feasibility and structuring of business models that commercialize the data collected with the apps.
We advise on some of the biggest multi-jurisdictional litigation in the life sciences sector and are trusted to handle the most important patent litigation for our clients’ global blockbusters, coordinating global exclusivity strategy from our core jurisdictions in Europe. We are involved in patent litigation relating to 50% of the top 10 bestselling drugs of 2021 and are involved at all stages of the product lifecycle, from strategic portfolio advice, high value oppositions, SPC advice and litigation through to advising on licensing disputes and settlement strategy.
As well as traditional innovator-generic, biosimilar and innovator-innovator disputes, we handle litigation relating to medical devices alongside advising on issues arising from platform patents and leading edge technologies. Our leading patent litigators have deep industry and technological knowledge and for the most complex matters, work closely in integrated multidisciplinary teams with our first-class antitrust, litigation and arbitration specialists, to deliver the very best outcomes for our clients.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb in relation to enforcing the patents relating to anti-PD1 antibodies (Opdivo®) for treating cancer in pan-European legal actions, one of the first major innovator– innovator patent disputes in Europe, and securing a vital victory in the Netherlands which led to a global license.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb in defending patent litigation against its patents protecting the blockbuster drugs Eliquis® and Onureg®, and defending a European entitlement challenge brought by Pfizer and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, who claimed to have made the inventions of core anti-PD-1 patents.
- Novartis in the Glivec® patent litigation against Teva, obtaining a cross-border injunction covering (virtually) all EU countries in one strike at The Hague.
- Novartis in patent litigation in the Netherlands and Germany for all patented products (e.g. Aclasta®, Gilenya®, Afinitor®, Exjade®, Entresto®), including obtaining a cross-border injunction in the NL for Exjade® and developing new strategies for second medical use patents in Germany in the context of the Glivec® litigation.
- AstraZeneca co-ordinating patent proceedings in relation to the blockbuster drug Faslodex®.
- AstraZeneca in a patent licence dispute with Tesaro/GSK on the PARP inhibitor Zejula®.
MSD defending a fundamental patent relating to its pioneering IL-23 antibody technology in the UK and at the European Patent Office.
Bayer in various entitlement proceedings against Nektar/Shire/Baxalta in relation to patents covering blood clotting Factor XIII
Becton Dickinson on European cross-border patent disputes relating to numerous medical devices.
Roche and Genentech
Roche and Genentech in defending several Arrow declaration-type proceedings initiated by Pfizer regarding bevacizumab (Avastin®).
Global pharma companies
Advising numerous global pharma companies on competition law aspects of their patent settlement agreements in various jurisdictions.
We are widely recognized as the world’s leading international arbitration practice and are consistently ranked as number one by legal directories. We have a deep bench of experience in, and understand, the life sciences sector and the disputes that are of critical importance to leading life sciences companies. Members of the international arbitration team regularly work hand in hand with our commercial and patent litigators. We can handle any dispute no matter what the forum.
A leading pharmaceutical company
A leading pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration arising out of a manufacturing and supply agreement for vaccines; the amount claimed against our client exceeded $150 million; we secured an award for zero damages
A leading pharmaceutical company
A leading pharmaceutical company in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a licensing agreement relating to a blockbuster biologic; we secured a complete victory (plus costs) for our client
A leading pharmaceutical company
A leading pharmaceutical company in an LCIA arbitration over defective products related to an asset sale; we ultimately engaged in a mediation and secured a very favorable settlement for our client
A leading biotechnology company
A leading biotechnology company in an ICC arbitration in connection with a sole license agreement with another biotechnology company; our client had developed a new GE-enzyme product and wanted a binding declaration that its development of the product did not involve any breach of the sole license agreement; through the arbitration proceedings we generated leverage for a very favorable settlement which enabled our client to proceed with the launch of its product
A leading biotechnology company
A leading biotechnology company in an ICDR arbitration against a patent aggregator arising from a patent license; we successfully settled the dispute
A leading tech company
A leading tech company in an ICC arbitration arising from its acquisition of a medical device developer; we successfully defeated an earnout claim brought by the acquired company’s former owner and were awarded costs
A leading pharmaceutical company
A leading pharmaceutical company in a DIS (German Arbitration Institute) post M&A arbitration relating to an earn out mechanism tied to the development of a machine learning technology used for personalized cancer treatments
A leading medical device manufacturer
A leading medical device manufacturer in parallel LCIA arbitration and litigation proceedings relating to the invention of patient-positioning equipment for cancer treatment and the ownership of the underlying intellectual property
We offer clients worldwide support from a broad and fully-integrated legal team, drawn from corporate, antitrust, IP, regulatory, litigation and product liability groups.
We also provide tax, employment and environmental support for clients.
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Richard Bird Partner
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