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Ropes & Gray Advises Pfizer on Merck KGaA Collaboration Honored with Licensing Executives Society “2015 Deal of Distinction” Award

Practices: Intellectual Property Transactions, Life Sciences

As previously reported, Ropes & Gray served as lead outside counsel to Pfizer, Inc. in connection with its ground-breaking PD-1 oncology collaboration with Merck KGaA.  On Oct. 27, the transaction was honored with the “2015 Deal of Distinction” Award in the life sciences category by the Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and Canada) at the LES 2015 annual meeting in New York.

The “2015 Deal of Distinction” Award recognizes the most exceptional intellectual property and licensing business deals of the year and was presented in the life sciences sector for “Pfizer-Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany - Global Strategic Alliance to Accelerate Immuno-oncology Presence.”

Pfizer’s collaboration with Merck KGaA focuses on the development and marketing of anti-PD-L1 antibodies designed to treat various tumor types. It represents the largest deal in the pharmaceuticals industry for a single asset in Phase 2 clinical development. Merck received $850 million upfront for the opportunity to develop the drug with Pfizer, and could receive an additional $2 billion in milestone payments, depending on regulatory review and commercial performance. The co-development and co-commercialization deal was signed in Nov. 2014, and the co-promotion deal was signed on April 1, 2015.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by intellectual property transactions partner Mark Bellomy, life sciences counsel Amanda Austin and intellectual property transactions associate Hannah Freeman (all from Boston).

LES is a professional society engaged in the creation, commercial development and transfer of intellectual property. LES members include business executives, lawyers, accountants, consultants, scientists and engineers representing professional services firms, universities and government labs. 

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