SJ Berwin et Nicox

SJ Berwin takes top spot on £200m pharma deal

Legal Week reports

SJ Berwin has won a key instruction for long-standing client NicOx, advising on a £200m licensing tieup with drugs giant Merck & Co.

The firm landed the mandate from French pharmaceutical research company NicOx, which has developed technology used to combat cardiovascular illnesses.

The company has now signed a new licensing agreement with Merck, the world�s fourth-largest pharmaceuticals company, which grants it exclusive rights to develop and sell new products containing the technology.

NicOx, which regularly uses Shearman & Sterling for corporate work, will net an initial £6m, with an additional £195m received in stages, while Merck will also pay out future royalties. Commerce and technology partner Andrew Shin-dler headed the SJ Berwin team.

Shindler told Legal Week: "This is an industry we have been interested in for a long time and now we have all the bases covered."

Merck was advised by its in-house legal team, with counsel Scott Kauffman taking the lead.

The deal, which was signed last month, builds on SJ Berwin�s long-term relationship with NicOx, which has seen Shindler act on a handful of lucrative instructions, including a £225m agreement that handed drugs giant Pfizer rights to a new eye disease treatment.

Firms securing major licensing deals in recent months include Linklaters, which advised Astra-Zeneca on a £195m agreement with Protheric, and Wragge & Co, which advised Astex Therapeutics on a $520m (£298m) deal with Novartis.

Author: Ben Mitchell
Source: Legal Week
Start Date: 13/04/2006
End Date: 20/04/2006


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