MoFo, Cooley, Davis discover cure for bird flu vaccine feud

Morrison & Foerster, Cooley Godward and Davis Polk & Wardwell have been instrumental in ending a row between the Tamiflu vaccine inventor and its producer.

MoFo’s litigation and arbitration chair Cedric Chao and Cooley Godward biotechnology partner Bob Jones acted for Californian biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences in the dispute with pharmaceutical giant Roche over the licence agreement for Tamiflu.

The drug, which fights the most common influenza strains, is touted as one of the main defences against a potential bird flu pandemic.

Acting for Gilead, Jones was responsible for drawing up the original licence agreement in 1996, which saw the joint development of Tamiflu by Gilead and Roche.

But in June 2005 Gilead delivered a termination notice and the companies began arbitration. Roche instructed long-standing adviser Arthur Golden of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

The settlement provides for the joint manufacture of Tamiflu. It also eliminates a cost of goods adjustment in the payment of royalties from Roche to Gilead, and sees Roche pay Gilead $62.5m (£36.3m) in respect of adjustments made up to 2004.