Asia Life Sciences

Ropes & Gray’s internationally recognized Asia life sciences practice offers integrated and comprehensive counsel to leading investment funds and global pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and consumer product companies on doing business in one of the world’s fastest growing and most challenging regions.


Asia is a high strategic priority market for global life sciences investors and companies. To better serve our clients on their cutting-edge issues in this marketplace, Ropes & Gray has a unique resource – an exceptional and seamless cross-practice team with market-leading corporate/M&A, intellectual property, regulatory and compliance practitioners, all of whom have experience in practicing on the ground in Asia.

Our Asia-focused team includes recognized thought leaders, each drawing from decades of experience representing clients across Asia’s life sciences industry, who also bring practical in-house experience to bear in their counsel. We are able to provide a deep level of understanding of the local industry practices throughout the Asia-Pacific region and assist clients in navigating the complex landscape from all angles to a global standard.

Consistently ranked in the top Bands of Chambers Asia-Pacific Life Sciences and Chambers Greater China Region Life Sciences Guidesour practice has assisted our clients in structuring, negotiating and consummating groundbreaking life sciences transactions, representing many leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and consumer product companies as well as investment banks, venture capital and private equity firms that invest in Asia’s life sciences industry.

Our full-service offering covers all practice areas of relevance to the region’s life sciences industry including:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions – We advise on all aspects of inbound and outbound cross-border acquisitions or control transactions.
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital Investments – We advise both sector-focused and multi-strategy investors in a wide range of offshore and onshore investment transactions involving Asia-based life sciences companies.
  • Complex Licensing and Collaborations – We structure licensing and collaboration arrangements involving multinational pharmaceutical companies and Asia-based biotech and biopharmaceutical companies.
  • Regulatory Matters – We routinely advise clients on regulatory matters that arise in connection with investment and M&A transactions, as well as joint venture, licensing and complex commercial arrangements.  We also provide regulatory counseling to some of the world’s largest life sciences companies on matters involving Asia’s regulatory agencies.
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) – We advise global pharmaceutical and medical device companies on anti-bribery and anticorruption matters across Asia, including handling special investigations and compliance trainings. 
  • Fund Formation – We routinely review limited partnership agreements and serve as fund counsel to life sciences-focused investment funds.
  • Securities and Public Company Matters – We serve as U.S. securities counsel for many Asia-based life sciences companies and have advised these companies on a number of initial public offerings, follow-on offerings and other strategic transactions.

Experience & Awards

Our attorneys have advised on a number of defining matters in Asia's life sciences industry, including representing:

  • Johnson & Johnson in its mergers and acquisitions, licensing, early and mid-stage investments and collaborations for its consumer, medical device and pharmaceuticals business across Asia Pacific, including:
    • its investment in, and collaboration with, Legend Biotech (LEGN), a Nasdaq-listed China based CAR-T biotech company;
    • its innovative collaboration with Taikang Online Insurance;
    • its US$2.1 billion tender offer to acquire Dr. Ci:Labo (4924 – CI:Z Holdings), a Japanese company in the dermocosmetic, cosmetic and skincare products.
  • ImmunoGen, Inc., a leader in the field of antibody-drug conjugates, in an exclusive collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited to develop and commercialize Immunogen’s ADC therapy ELAHERE in Japan.
  • Eli Lilly in its digital healthcare collaboration with leading China internet company Tencent and online healthcare service provider DXY to develop and launch an integrated diabetes patient care platform in China.
  • Everest Medicines in a US$455 million agreement with Immunomedics, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, in obtaining exclusive rights to develop and commercialize cancer drug Trodelvy in Greater China, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Mongolia.
  • Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., in a multi-million dollar strategic collaboration with Hangzhou Zhongmei Huadong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Huadong Medicine Co., Ltd. (Huadong Medicine), to develop and commercialize autoimmune and inflammatory disease drugs in the Asia Pacific region including Greater China, South Korea, Australia, and 18 other countries (excluding Japan).
  • Bain Capital Private Equity:
    • in its multi-million US dollar acquisition and related financing of a majority stake in Classys Inc., the South Korea based manufacturer of medical aesthetics equipment;
    • in the sale of its US$1+ billion controlling stake in Hugel Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company based in South Korea, to a consortium consisting of CBC Group, GS Holdings, IMM Investment and Mubadala Investment.
  • Kleiner Perkins China:
    • in the $45 million preferred equity financing of JHL Biotech, a newly established biologics company based in Taiwan and China;
    • in its Series C preferred equity investment in Kindstar GlobalGene, a leading lab research company based in China.
  • Baring Private Equity Asia (now EQT Private Capital Asia), on:
    • the sale of the surgical business of Lumenis Ltd. to Boston Scientific Corp. for US$1.07 billion;
    • its investment in JD Health, an online health platform and subsidiary of, a China-based e-commerce group, as part of its Series A preferred share financing.
  • TPG in its participation in the ShangPharma going-private transaction, one of the largest private equity backed going-private transactions to be completed in the China life sciences industry (at the time of the deal).
  • Perceptive Advisors, TPG, KKR, Bain, Temasek, Baring Private Equity, Panacea Venture, CDIB Capital Group, JJDC (venture arm of Johnson & Johnson), Kleiner Perkins, Vivo Capital, Essex Healthcare, Sequoia, Goldman Sachs and WI Harper, among others, in their other respective investments and strategic transactions in China and the Asia Pacific region. 

Ropes & Gray’s China life sciences practice has garnered recognition by clients and independent reviewers, including:

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific, Chambers Greater China, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, IFLR 1000: our China life sciences practice is ranked year after year as leaders within Greater China and other Asia Pacific markets for comprehensive counsel in Healthcare and Life Sciences, Intellectual Property, and Regulatory/ Compliance.
  • China Law & Practice 2022 AwardsEquity Securities Deal of the Year” for LianBio IPO.
  • China Business Law Journal’s 2022 China Business Law Awards: recognized for IP (Patents) and Healthcare, pharma & life sciences.
  • Asian Legal Business’ 2022 Asia IP Rankings: Patents, Tier 1 among international firms in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea; Trademarks and Copyright, Tier 1 among international firms in China; Trademarks and Copyright, Tier 2 among international firms in Hong Kong and South Korea. 
  • Asian Legal Business’ 2021 IP Rankings: Patents, Tier 1 among international firms in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea; Trademark and Copyright, Tier 1 in China; Trademark and Copyright, Tier 2 in Hong Kong and South Korea.
  • Asian Legal Business’ 2020 IP Rankings – Patents, Tier 1 among international firms in China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.
  • China Business Law Journals2020 China Business Law Awards: recognized for health care, pharmaceuticals & life sciences intellectual property matters, including patents.
  • China Law & Practice 2019 Awards – “Outbound Deal of the Year” for advising Harbin Pharmaceutical’s US$300 million investment in GNC Holdings.
  • China Business Law Journal’s 2019 China Business Law Awards – recognized for intellectual property, including patents.
  • Asian Legal Business’ 2019 IP Rankings – Patents, Tier 1 among international firms in China, Japan and South Korea. 
  • In-House Community 2019 – “Firm of the Year – China” for Life Sciences.
  • China Law & Practice 2017 Awards – “Healthcare & Life Sciences International Firm of the Year.”
  • Financial Times Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers 2014 – recognized for counseling AstraZeneca subsidiary MedImmune on its joint venture with WuXi AppTec, China’s largest clinical research organization, which created the first novel biologics joint venture in China.
The firm's cross-border synergy and industry knowledge are core strengths. It was very helpful to have them all under one umbrella, the team worked very seamlessly. The market has evolved significantly and they are able to provide color on what's happening across Asia and globally.
Chambers Asia-Pacific Life Sciences