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In Launch of China Biotech LianBio, Ropes & Gray Advises on Deals with MyoKardia and BridgeBio Pharma Affiliates

Practices: Life Sciences, Health Care, China Life Sciences, Asia Pacific, Health Care Finance & Restructuring, Life Sciences Licensing, Collaborations & Joint Ventures, Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Transactions

Ropes & Gray represented Shanghai-based biotechnology start-up LianBio, a newly founded company launched by life sciences investment firm Perceptive Advisors, in agreements with two California-based biotechnology companies MyoKardia and BridgeBio Pharma to expand their reach into China, the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market. 

Ropes & Gray represented LianBio in a strategic collaboration with biopharmaceutical company MyoKardia to develop and commercialize mavacamten in China and other Asian territories. Mavacamten is MyoKardia's lead therapeutic candidate being developed for the treatment of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common form of genetic heart disease. The transaction was announced on August 11. 

The partnership will initially pursue a registration strategy for mavacamten in China for obstructive HCM, with plans for additional indications to follow. Mavacamten will serve to anchor the portfolio for LianBio’s cardiorenal-focused subsidiary, Lian Cardiovascular. 

Under the terms of the agreement, MyoKardia will receive a payment of $40 million at closing, with additional committed payments within the first six months of the partnership. MyoKardia may be eligible to receive regulatory and sales milestone payments of up to $147.5 million, as well as tiered royalties on the sale of mavacamten in the territories outlined as part of the collaboration. LianBio will fund all development and commercial expenses in the collaboration territory. MyoKardia CEO,Tassos Gianakakos, joins the LianBio board of directors as part of the deal. 

In addition, Ropes & Gray represented LianBio in transactions that give BridgeBio commercial rights in China and selected Asian markets for two of its oncology drugs: infigratinib, a late-stage investigational treatment for gastric cancer under BridgeBio’s subsidiary QED Therapeutics, and a Phase 1 ready compound designed to target solid tumors, developed by BrideBio’s affiliate Navire Pharma. Both transactions were announced on August 11. 

LianBio will receive commercial rights in China and selected Asian markets and participate in clinical development activities for infigratinib and the solid tumor compound. BridgeBio will receive $26.5 million in up front and near-term milestone payments, plus up to $505 million more in additional progress payments and royalties on any sales of either drug in the territories included in the agreement. BridgeBio CEO and founder, Neil Kumar, joins the LianBio board of directors as part of the deal.

The Ropes & Gray LianBio teams were led by life sciences partner Eric Wu (Shanghai) and included IP transactions partner Melissa Rones (Boston), life sciences regulatory & compliance partner Katherine Wang (Shanghai), and IP transactions counsel David Chen (Shanghai).

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