Clifford Chance has advised Merck KGaA (Merck) on the conclusion of a global strategic cooperation agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The two companies will work together closely in the field of immuno-oncology. The cooperation concerns the bifunctional fusion protein M7824 developed by Merck which is currently in clinical development and aims to further the treatment of difficult-to-treat cancers. The total potential deal value is up to €3.7 billion.
Merck and GSK will jointly develop and commercialize M7824, sharing costs and potential revenues equally.
Under the collaboration agreement, GSK will make an upfront payment of €300 million to the Darmstadt-based pharmaceutical company. Further payments of up to €500 million may be made upon achievement of certain development milestones triggered by pre-agreed data-driven events related to the ongoing clinical program. Merck is also eligible for up to a further €2.9 billion upon successfully achieving future approval and commercial milestones.
The Clifford Chance team comprised Partner Ulrich Reese (Picture), Senior Associate Carolin Kemmner, Associate Nicolas Rajko (all Corporate/Healthcare) as well as Senior Associate Florian Reiling (IP) and further consisted of Counsel Claudia Nawroth (Corporate/Healthcare), Partner Claudia Milbradt and Associate Fabian Wild (both IP), Partner Marc Besen, Counsel Dimitri Slobodenjuk and Associate Caroline Scholke (all Antitrust, all Düsseldorf), Partner Markus Stephanblome (Corporate, Frankfurt) as well as Partner Stephen Reese (Corporate/Healthcare, London). Partner Benjamin Sibbett and Counsel Daryl Fairbairn (both Corporate/M&A, New York) advised on US law aspects. Partner Nicholas Mace advised on UK tax law issues (London).
Tobias Greven, LL.M., Head of Legal Business Development Merck Healthcare, coordinated the project in-house at Merck KGaA.
Involved fees earner: Marc Besen – Clifford Chance; Carolin Kemmner – Clifford Chance; Nick Mace – Clifford Chance; Claudia Milbradt – Clifford Chance; Claudia Nawroth – Clifford Chance; Nicolas Rajko – Clifford Chance; Ulrich Reese – Clifford Chance; Stephen Reese – Clifford Chance; Florian Reiling – Clifford Chance; Caroline Scholke – Clifford Chance; Benjamin Sibbett – Clifford Chance; Dimitri Slobodenjuk – Clifford Chance; Markus Stephanblome – Clifford Chance; Fabian Wild – Clifford Chance;
Law Firms: Clifford Chance;
Clients: Merck KGaA;