International team advises Chiesi Farmaceutici on in-licence of Raxone® from Santhera

By Sally Shorthose, James Baillieu


International law firm Bird & Bird has advised Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. ("Chiesi") on the in-licence of Raxone® -- an orphan drug used in the treatment of Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy ("LHON"), a rare hereditary eye disease that leads to severe vision loss –- from Swiss group Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG ("Santhera").

Chiesi has in-licensed the rights to Raxone® in LHON and all other ophthalmological indications worldwide except in the US and Canada, where Santhera retains rights. Chiesi also has the option to acquire the Raxone® business following the satisfaction of certain regulatory milestones, including the completion of certain post-authorization measures and the receipt of certain pricing reimbursement approvals. The total consideration for the deal is up to €93 million (approximately CHF 105 million), comprising an upfront cash payment of €44 million (approximately CHF 50 million) together with a number of sales related milestone payments of up to €49 million (approximately CHF 55 million). Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including anti-trust approvals.

The multi-office team was led by commercial partner Sally Shorthose and corporate partner James Baillieu in London together with James Pearson (Intellectual Property, London), Sharon O'Donnell, Hannah Fletcher and Megan Curzon (Corporate, London), Philip Hartman and Chelsea Gunning (Employment, The Hague), Richard Eccles and Dániel Arányi (Antitrust, London), Simon Gough (Tax, London) and Alexandre Vuchot and Dora Talvard (Life Sciences Regulatory, Paris). The team acted in close co-operation with the Chiesi in-house team led by Tiziano Toschi together with Federica Pellegrino and Irsida Zefi with Swiss law advice being provided by Manuel Bianchi della Porta and Norbert Schenk of BianchiSchwald.