Ropes & Gray, a leading global law firm, recently advised HilleVax, Inc. on its exclusive license agreement with Chengdu Kanghua Biological Products Co., Ltd. (Kangh) for the acquisition of rights to Kangh’s hexavalent virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate for norovirus, outside of Greater China. The agreement marks a significant milestone in HilleVax’s mission to combat the global burden of norovirus.
Under the terms of the agreement, Kangh will provide the VLP vaccine candidate to HilleVax for use in their upcoming clinical trials, including a Phase 1 trial that is set to commence in 2024. HilleVax, in turn, will make an upfront payment of $15 million to Kangh, with the potential for additional payments of up to $255.5 million, subject to the achievement of specific developmental and sales milestones. Furthermore, Kangh will be entitled to receive a tiered royalty on net sales outside of Greater China.
Norovirus, a highly contagious virus that causes acute gastroenteritis, is responsible for approximately 700 million cases of moderate-to-severe illness and 200,000 deaths worldwide each year. The virus poses a significant economic burden, with direct health system costs exceeding $4 billion and societal costs totaling $60 billion annually.
The Ropes & Gray team, led by IP transactions partner Geoffrey Lin and associate Dan Freshman, provided comprehensive legal counsel and strategic guidance throughout the negotiation and execution of the license agreement. Their expertise in intellectual property and licensing played a crucial role in facilitating the collaboration between HilleVax and Kangh, paving the way for the development and potential commercialization of an innovative norovirus vaccine.
This partnership represents a major advancement in the field of vaccine development and holds the promise of reducing the global impact of norovirus. HilleVax’s commitment to addressing this pressing public health issue, coupled with Kangh’s groundbreaking VLP vaccine candidate, signifies a significant step forward in safeguarding public health and improving the lives of millions affected by norovirus each year.
1. What is HilleVax, Inc.?
HilleVax, Inc. is a company that focuses on combating the global burden of norovirus.
2. Who did Ropes & Gray advise in the exclusive license agreement?
Ropes & Gray advised HilleVax, Inc. in their exclusive license agreement.
3. What is the agreement about?
The agreement grants HilleVax the rights to Kangh’s hexavalent virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate for norovirus, outside of Greater China.
4. What will Kangh provide to HilleVax?
Kangh will provide the VLP vaccine candidate for use in HilleVax’s upcoming clinical trials.
5. What is the upfront payment made by HilleVax to Kangh?
HilleVax will make an upfront payment of $15 million to Kangh.
6. Are there potential additional payments?
Yes, HilleVax may make additional payments of up to $255.5 million, subject to specific developmental and sales milestones.
7. What will Kangh receive in return for the agreement?
Kangh will be entitled to receive a tiered royalty on net sales outside of Greater China.
8. What is norovirus?
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes acute gastroenteritis.
9. How many cases of norovirus occur each year?
Approximately 700 million cases of moderate-to-severe illness and 200,000 deaths worldwide are caused by norovirus each year.
10. What are the economic costs of norovirus?
Direct health system costs exceed $4 billion, and societal costs total $60 billion annually.
Key terms and jargon:
– Hexavalent: Refers to six components or strains.
– Virus-like particle (VLP): A non-infectious particle that resembles a virus and can be used to stimulate an immune response without causing the disease.
– Clinical trials: Research studies conducted in humans to evaluate the safety and efficacy of medical interventions.
– Upfront payment: An initial payment made at the beginning of a business agreement.
– Developmental milestones: Specific goals or achievements that need to be met in the development process.
– Sales milestones: Specific goals or achievements related to sales performance.
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