City trio secures UK-US cancer drug partnership

Lovell White Durrant, Stringer Saul and Slaughter and May have teamed up to secure a partnership deal between pharmaceuticals company British Biotech and US drugs giant Schering-Plough.

The US group will pay a £2.5m licence fee and a £2.5m equity investment for the right to develop, manufacturer and market British Biotech's cancer drugs.

Lovells acted for its long-standing client Schering-Plough on licensing and corporate issues, while Slaughters and Stringer Saul advised British Biotech on corporate and patent issues respectively.

Marco Compagnoni, corporate partner at Lovell White Durrant, acted on the deal with support from intellectual property and pharmaceuticals assistant Nicola Dagg and corporate assistant Stephen Shapiro.

Dagg says the deal was complex. “It is going to be an ongoing relationship between the two companies in relation to the development, marketing and sale of the drugs, so we had to build in all those elements to deal with those aspects,” he says.

British Biotech will not comment about the legal aspects of the deal, but The Lawyer understands this was the first time 15-partner City firm Stringer Saul advised the company. Gary Howes, IP partner at Stringer Saul, worked closely with British Biotech's in-house team, headed by John Ilett, senior corporate counsel at the company.

Nilufer von Bismarck, corporate partner at Slaughters, advised British Biotech's in-house team on Stock Exchange issues and the timing of announcements related to Schering-Plough's share purchase.