Wiggin & Dana Closes $150 Million Deal for One of Largest Biotech Companies in Europe

October 23, 2002
Stamford, Conn. - The law firm of Wiggin & Dana LLP closed a major international deal that was announced today by its Swedish biotechnology client, Biovitrum AB
Attorneys in Wiggin & Dana’s Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice Group assisted Biovitrum AB with this major collaboration with global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop and commercialize a drug for the treatment of obesity and other medical disorders.  The most advanced compound included in the collaboration is BVT.933, an appetite-suppressing compound that Biovitrum has advanced to Phase II clinical trials.  Up-front payment and development milestones could amount to as much as $150 million to Biovitrum.  Additional milestone payments are payable for development of products for other indications, in addition to royalties on future sales of all products arising from the collaboration.
“We are thrilled to be able to help our client Biovitrum join forces with its new partner to bring new and potentially life-altering treatments to millions of people who suffer from obesity and other disorders,” says James Farrington, Jr., biotech practice chair and lead counsel for Wiggin & Dana.
Under the terms of the agreement, GSK and Biovitrum will split some of the rights to globally commercialize products arising from the collaboration.  And certain ongoing studies, including the Phase II clinical study for BVT.933, will be completed by Biovitrum, after which GSK will fund and conduct further development, registration and manufacturing activities.  Development will be coordinated by a committee with representation from both companies.
Biovitrum AB, located in Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden, is one of the largest biotech companies in Europe with about 530 employees, of which more than 420 work within Research & Development.  Biovitrum is a biotech company active in the discovery and development of drugs to treat metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.  According to the National Institute of Health, obesity affects nearly 23 percent of the population in the United States alone.
Attorneys working on the deal from Wiggin & Dana included Biotechnology & Life Science Practice Chair James Farrington, Jr., Gretchen Burger, Lauren Sullivan and Suzanne Wachsstock
Wiggin & Dana's multidisciplinary Biotechnology and Life Science Practice Group provides integrated services to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and health care clients. The firm's attorneys have been serving life science clients, both domestic and foreign based, for more than 20 years.  With offices in New Haven, Hartford, Stamford and Philadelphia, Wiggin & Dana LLP is a 150 lawyer firm that offers a full range of services to state, regional, national and international clients.