Life Sciences Licensing, Collaborations & Joint Ventures

Leaders in the life sciences industry turn to Ropes & Gray’s global licensing practice for creative solutions to their most pressing legal and business needs.


With one of the largest licensing practices in the world, Ropes & Gray has the knowledge and experience to help our global clients succeed in today’s life sciences industry.

Our team of licensing attorneys represents public and private pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, and research institutions in structuring and negotiating all forms of complex commercial agreements. 

We also have extensive experience in transactions involving early and late development stage products, approved products, platform technologies and services specific to the life sciences industry.

We regularly advise our clients on:

  • Licensing & collaboration agreements
  • Outsourcing agreements
  • Co-promotion, marketing & distribution agreements
  • Manufacturing & supply agreements
  • Technology transfer arrangements
  • Joint ventures


Ropes & Gray’s life sciences licensing team has extensive experience representing public and private life sciences companies in structuring all types of collaboration agreements. Recent representations include:

  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals in its co-development and co-commercialization of CTX001, an investigational gene editing treatment, with CRISPR Therapeutics. The agreement is part of the companies’ previously announced $2.6 billion collaboration aimed at the discovery and development of new gene editing treatments that use the CRISPR/Cas9 technology.
  • Akebia Therapeutics in multiple transformative transactions, totaling an aggregate of nearly $2 billion, through which Akebia partnered its lead drug candidate in key markets, secured financing for completing its Phase III clinical trials, and in-licensed a library of compounds for future research and development.
  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals in its collaboration and licensing agreement with Halozyme Therapeutics that enables Alexion to use Halozyme’s ENHANZE drug delivery technology in the development of subcutaneous formulations for Alexion’s rare disease drug product portfolio.
  • Ethris GmBH in its five-year strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca and MedImmune to develop new stabilized non-immunogenic modified RNA therapies for respiratory diseases using Ethris’ proprietary SNIM RNA technology.
  • Homology Medicines in its research and development collaboration with Novartis to use Homology’s gene editing technology to develop new treatments for select ophthalmic targets and hemoglobin blood disease.
  • Prevail Therapeutics, Inc., a startup focused on new biologics and gene therapies for Parkinson’s disease, in its exclusive worldwide license agreement with REGENXBIO Inc. to develop and commercialize gene therapy products using REGENXBIO’s NAV AAV9 vector for the treatment of Parkinson’s and other related neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim in a $595 million global license and collaboration agreement with AbbVie to jointly develop and commercialize a biologic IL-23 antibody for the treatment of psoriasis and other immunological indications.
  • Sarepta Therapeutics in its $585M-plus exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Summit Therapeutics for the European rights to Summit’s utrophin modulator pipeline for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
  • Pfizer in a joint collaboration with Merck KGaA to develop and commercialize an anti-PD-L1 antibody to treat tumors. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will receive $850 million upfront and $2 billion in regulatory and commercial milestone payments. 
Clients note the team's thorough approach and comprehensive coverage of strategic advisory services and transactional counseling.
Chambers USA