Firms To Watch: Life sciences and healthcare: foreign firms

Goodwin's life sciences practice in Asia is led by Hong Kong-based Wendy Pan, who specialises in life sciences-related M&A, technology-based transactions, licensing, strategic partnerships, and financing.

Life sciences and healthcare: foreign firms in China

Baker McKenzie FenXun

Baker McKenzie FenXun‘s Greater China healthcare and life sciences group comprises several team members with prior life sciences industry work experience. The team routinely acts for global pharmaceutical, medical device, healthcare and life sciences companies on both inbound and outbound matters, including transactional, regulatory and compliance issues. In Hong Kong, Isabella Liu, who advises major life sciences sector players, is the regional head of the Asia-Pacific IP and technology practices; and M&A and FDI specialist Tracy Wut focuses on the pharmaceuticals and healthcare sector. Wut’s recent highlights include advising Johnson & Johnson on the spin-off of its consumer health business globally, including China and Hong Kong. Key contacts on the mainland include Simon Hui, who leads the firm’s dispute resolution team in Shanghai; and Vivian Wu, an expert in China-related corporate regulatory and compliance matters at the Beijing office of joint operation partner, FenXun Partners.

Practice head(s):

Isabella Liu; Tracy Wut; Simon Hui

Other key lawyers:

Vivian Wu

Key clients

ChildLife

Hysan Development Company

Sino Biopharmaceutical

3W Fund Management

Johnson & Johnson

GSK (GlaxoSmithKlein)

Becton, Dickinson and Company

Aztiq

Work highlights

  • Advised Hysan on a take-private transaction involving New Frontier Health Corporation.
  • Acted for Sino Biopharmaceutical and a 3W Capital-led consortium on a $91m Series B investment into Treadwell Therapeutics.
  • Acted for ChildLife in successfully obtaining an interlocutory injunction from the Hong Kong High Court against its former distributor.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP is sought out for high-end mandates in both China and across the Asia-Pacific region. The group assists with an array of China life sciences-related areas, including capital markets, public company matters, and financial and regulatory risk issues. Other areas cover M&A, licensing, collaborations, IP, fund formation, and private equity and venture capital investments/equity financings. The practice additionally has enviable expertise in human genetic regulation and data privacy, along with research compliance. In Shanghai, Asia regional managing partner Arthur Mok advises global pharmaceutical and medical device companies, biotechs, scientific entrepreneurs, and life sciences and healthcare investment funds; Katherine Wang acts on life sciences regulatory and compliance matters; Geoffrey Lin helps global life sciences companies monetise, risk-assess and protect IP assets; and Eric Wu assists biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer healthcare companies with major transactions. David Chen is a life sciences, technology deal and data privacy counsel.

Practice head(s):

Arthur Mok

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Wang; Geoffrey Lin; Eric Wu; David Chen

Testimonials

‘Provides down-to-earth legal advice on life sciences and healthcare matters – very experienced and responsive.’

‘Katherine Wang is highly professional and solutions oriented.’

Key clients

LianBio

Everest Medicines

Zai Lab

Lilly Asia Ventures

Pfizer

G1 Therapeutics

Profex

Innovent Biologics

CANbridge Biomed

CASI Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Advised LianBio on its $325m IPO.
  • Advised Everest Medicines on multiple commercial agreements.
  • Advised Zai Lab on a collaboration and licence agreement with Mirati Therapeutics in Greater China.

Allen & Overy LLP

Forming part of a global life sciences and healthcare group, Allen & Overy LLP‘s Greater China practice fields a multidisciplinary team from both mainland China and Hong Kong offices. The team, jointly led by Shanghai-based pharmaceutical and medical devices deal specialist Jack Wang, and Hong Kong’s anti-bribery/corruption and compliance practitioner Eugene Chen, advises pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices, diagnostics and healthcare companies, as well as private equity and financial institutions investing in the sector. The practice also showcases PRC law experts, through the firm’s joint operation with Shanghai-based Lang Yue Law Firm, which advises on IP and pharmaceutical regulatory matters. Other active partners in Hong Kong are Asia-Pacific corporate practice head Victor Ho; and Lina Lee, whose practice includes acting as Hong Kong Listing Rules annual compliance counsel for several life sciences clients. Covering the full spectrum of China-related IP litigation and transactions, Shanghai-based Jill Ge was made partner in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Jack Wang; Eugene Chen

Other key lawyers:

Victor Ho; Lina Lee; François Renard; Jill Ge

Key clients

Luye Pharma Group

Vivere Lifesciences Acquisition Corp

Anheart Therapeutics

CMS

With ‘high levels of life sciences and Pharma sector knowledge‘, CMS‘ China practice covers corporate and commercial, IP, regulatory issues, compliance, tax, antitrust, and dispute resolution. The firm also houses scientists and academics, while many of its lawyers can boast in-house experience at pharmaceutical companies. Nicholas Beckett, who divides his time between Beijing and Hong Kong, advises on the IP, regulatory and commercial disputes for life sciences and healthcare companies, including Japanese pharmaceutical businesses. Over in Shanghai, Nicolas Zhu is particularly experienced in acting for European entities, such as hospitals, along with pharmaceutical, medical device, cosmetics and consumer goods companies. Within the mainland China associate pool, Roxie Meng specialises in a range of life sciences-related corporate and commercial matters, while Laila Lu focuses on corporate and M&A work.

Practice head(s):

Nick Beckett; Nicolas Zhu

Other key lawyers:

Roxie Meng; Laila Lu

Testimonials

‘This firm has a practical business approach to complex legal issues.’

The firm specialises in legal issues related to the medical industry, and is able to provide clients with practical and effective compliance solutions.

‘High levels of life sciences and Pharma sector knowledge. Very responsive and highly efficient in its delivery of service and with a client-centric focus.’

‘Of particular note is the capability to understand a particular topic that may not yet have evolved in China and Hong Kong, but thanks to the size and strength of its international presence, the team can scope and understand the issue quite efficiently and expertly.’

‘Nick Beckett is a remarkable lawyer with rich experience. He responds to clients’ requests quickly and always thinks from the client’s perspectives.’

‘Nick Beckett immediately made himself available for an extremely urgent matter, and his knowledge of the local Chinese environment was key to giving us the comfort to proceed.’

‘Nick Beckett is wonderful to work with. He is highly responsive, technically excellent and extremely efficient. He has an excellent grasp of the commercial context on which he is providing advice, and is very generous with his time.’

‘Nick Beckett is fantastically experienced in this area.’

Key clients

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

The Wellcome Trust

UCL

GlaxoSmithKline

Tasly Holding Group Co

Bayer

Medtronic

Eli Lilly

Novartis

Boehringer-Ingelheim

Cooley LLP

Acting for both emerging companies and established businesses at all stages of their life cycle, Cooley LLP‘s client base comprises biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical technology businesses, along with healthcare organisations and financial institutions investing in the life sciences sector. The practice particularly stands out for its seamless US-China credentials, which facilitate regular instructions by US life sciences businesses on cross-border matters into China. It also assists with large-value licensing agreements. Heading the Shanghai office, Christina Zhang‘s recent track record includes complex licensing agreements, venture financings and commercial contracts. Working across the firm’s Asia and California offices, Patrick Loofbourrow advises emerging technology and life sciences companies, along with venture capital investors.

Practice head(s):

Christina Zhang

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Loofbourrow; Yiming Liu

Key clients

Asymchem Laboratories

DotBio

Hope Medicine

IASO Biotherapeutics

InxMed

Keymed Bioscience

Laekna Therapeutics

Marvel Finder

Milestone Pharmaceuticals

ProfoundBio

Tyligand Bioscience

Vivo Capital

Zai Lab

Work highlights

  • Advised Asymchem Laboratories on its $979m HK IPO.
  • Advised IASO Biotherapeutics on its exclusive license agreement with Sana Biotechnology and Innovent Biologics.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Particularly noted for its regulatory expertise, Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s Beijing-based life sciences practice features partners who have previously worked in government. The group advises across the full product life cycle, covering initial clinical trials, off-patent strategy, business development and defence-side litigation. Its expertise also covers product liability, corporate/M&A, pricing, and commercial and IP litigation, along with compliance, investigations and white-collar crime. Clients can also access local legal advice through the firm’s association with PRC-based Fujian Fidelity Law Firm.The principal figures are Greater China practice chair, Jun Wei, who advises medical device, pharmaceutical and healthcare clients on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters; Roy Zou, who routinely liaises with approval authorities and other government regulators, in relation to commercial transactions; and Lu Zhou, who advises life sciences and healthcare companies on China market entry and exit strategies. Life sciences regulatory expert Jessie Xie was elevated to counsel in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Jun Wei; Roy Zou; Lu Zhou

Other key lawyers:

Jessie Xie; Calvin Ding; Andrew McGinty; Andrew Cobden

Key clients

Hamilton Medical

Helsinn Pharmaceuticals

Merck & Co

NovoCure

Work highlights

  • Advised Helsinn Pharmaceuticals on advertising and promotion matters in China.
  • Advised Merck & Co on a major cross-border litigation involving rights in the MERCK trade mark and trade name.
  • Engaged by Hamilton Medical to conduct a comprehensive regulatory review and assessment for its business in China.

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster‘s Greater China life sciences practice advises on the full range of transactions that arise during the life cycle of life sciences companies. The team consistently assists with licensing and technology transfer arrangements, licensing and monetisation schemes, strategic collaborations, dispute settlement agreements, joint ventures, and major research and development projects.  It also has a notably robust life sciences IP practice. The mainland China names to note are Chuan Sun, who works closely with life sciences clients, including healthcare private equity firm CBC Group; and private equity and M&A transactions expert Ruomu Li, who is experienced in life sciences-related transactions. Over in Hong Kong, Asia private equity practice co-head, Thomas Chou acts for emerging growth companies, along with traditional and non-traditional investors; and Asia technology practice leader Gordon Milner is an expert in cross-border technology projects in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Chou; Chuan Sun; Gordon Milner; Ruomu Li

Other key lawyers:

Gigi Yuen; Sarah Wang

Testimonials

‘The team is highly professional and has extensive knowledge in the field of biotechnology, with a mastery of specialised patent/licensing agreements.

Key clients

Ally Bridge Group

CBC Group

Changchun High & New Technology Industry Group

Everest Medicines

Everest Medicines II

Henlius

Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co

Triastek

Xingren (Trusted Doctors)

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter‘s Shanghai-based practice advises on a range of matters involving pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical devices, infant formula, and consumer healthcare products; and the multidisciplinary team’s life sciences capabilities cover regulatory, antitrust, white-collar, litigation, IP, product liability and transactional expertise. In Shanghai, food and drug law specialist Andrew Chen assists life sciences companies doing business in China; and working predominantly for life sciences clients, John Tan, who ‘understands clients’ business goals‘, is an internal investigation and corporate compliance expert. China counsel Alex Wang advises on regulatory, compliance and transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Chen

Other key lawyers:

John Tan; Alex Wang

Testimonials

‘This practice is unique for its practical, easy, clear and actionable guidance in a highly complex and moving area (data privacy law in China) – the clarity of advice is exceptional.’

‘The team is able to communicate effectively with both the US-based legal team and the local China legal team.’

‘John Tan’s advice on data privacy and data security compliance is exceptional. He offers extremely clear, practical and actionable guidance and truly partners with clients in developing risk-based approaches to data privacy compliance.’

‘John Tan understands clients’ business goals and takes initiative.’

Key clients

Thermo Fisher

Zimmer Biomet

Regeneron

Agilent

Work highlights

  • Advised Thermo Fisher on the life sciences regulatory, antitrust, data privacy, and anti-corruption aspects of its acquisition of clinical research organisation, PPD.
  • Assisted Zimmer Biomet with a review of its privacy policies and risks.
  • Advised Regeneron on China’s evolving privacy regime.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird‘s Greater China life sciences and healthcare group works with a range of life sciences businesses, including pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. It also acts for start-ups, hospitals, government bodies, manufacturers, distributors and clinical research organisations. Typical work includes incorporation, development and financing matters; IP exploitation and portfolio management; regulatory and compliance issues, clinical trials; and securing marketing authorisation. Hong Kong-based team head Alison Wong ‘has both solid legal judgement and a very keen commercial sense‘, while technology and communications specialist James Gong in Beijing is a 2021 recruit from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Practice head(s):

Alison Wong

Other key lawyers:

James Gong; Clarice Yue; Jang-Sae Pang

Testimonials

‘Demonstrated its ability to handle pioneering matters.

‘The billing model is flexible, depending on the client’s special needs or requirements, including fixed amounts and hourly rates with a cap – expertise in diversified areas, including general corporate, financial regulatory, FCPA/ABAC, data privacy and IP.’

‘Alison Wong is very responsive and responds to each enquiry in a timely manner, including any follow-up questions. She has both solid legal judgement and a very keen commercial sense. In addition, she manages to keep budgets well under control – therefore there are rarely any surprises in the bills.’

Key clients

Elixinol CBD

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Immunic

Johnson Matthey

Merck

Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co

DLA Piper

Acting for both foreign multinational corporations and China-based clients, DLA Piper‘s active and sizeable Greater China team fields specialists in corporate law, IP, regulatory and compliance, investigations, capital markets, employment and tax. The China life sciences practice is co-led by Hong Kong-based compliance and investigations specialist, Sammy Fang; and recently promoted partner Ting Xiao in Shanghai, who focuses on life sciences-related regulatory and IP work. Also on the mainland, Qiang Li‘s broad corporate practice includes advising Chinese life science companies, while Christine Liu in Hong Kong represents pharmaceutical and medical device companies in internal investigations.

Practice head(s):

Sammy Fang; Ting Xiao

Other key lawyers:

Qiang Li; Arthur Tso; Christine Liu

Key clients

Beijing E-Town Biomedical Park

Aesthetic Medical International Holding Group

Arlington Capital Partners

Charles River Laboratories

EDDA Healthcare and Technology Holding

Lilly Asia Ventures

Nanjing Yingpeng Huikang Medical Industry Investment Partnership

Zhongze Therapeutics

 

Work highlights

  • Acted for Beijing E-town Biomedical Park on the successful conclusion of an exclusive strategic alliance .
  • Advising Yingpeng Fund on its proxy contest regarding GCBC, a life sciences enterprise operating in the field of storage of umbilical cord blood stem cells.
  • Acting as US counsel to EDDA Healthcare and Technology Holding on its proposed IPO and listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

O'Melveny

Housing ‘a complete team that communicates with clients efficiently‘, O'Melveny‘s China practice has a longstanding record in advising on China-related matters in the life sciences and healthcare sectors; and it is best known for bringing life sciences and biotech companies in China to the public markets in Hong Kong and the US. Its recent caseload further covers capital markets, M&A, FDI, IP and licensing, along with private equity and venture capital transactions. In Beijing, Ke Geng is a specialist in pharmaceutical, biotech, and life sciences-related IPOs and equity financings in China.

Practice head(s):

Ke Geng

Testimonials

‘A complete team that communicates with clients efficiently and deals with clients’ problems in a timely manner.’

Key clients

Keymed Biosciences

Yonghe Medical Group Co

RemeGen Co

Brii Biosciences

Acotec Scientific Holdings

Gushengtang Holdings

Goldman Sachs (Asia)

CICC HK and other underwriters

Shenzhen Distinct Healthcare Investment Consulting Co

Shanghai Bio-heart Biological Technology Co

Beauty Farm Medical and Health Industry

Betta Pharmaceutical

RainMed

Beijing Continent Pharmaceuticals

Cryofocus Medtech (Shanghai) Co

Scivita Medical Technology Co

Ningbo Jenscare Biotechnology

Shanghai NewMed Medical

Nanjing TransThera Biosciences

3D Medicines Inc.

Adlai Nortye

OrbusNeich Medical Group

Medbanks

AmbioPharm

CICC

CITI

Gaush Meditech

Beijing Keya Medical Technology

Pharmaron

Belite Bio

Work highlights

  • Advised Keymed Biosciences on its IPO.
  • Advised Yonghe Medical Group Co on its IPO.
  • Advised RemeGen Co on its A-share IPO.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP‘s dedicated life sciences team advises on products throughout their lifecycle, from drug development to cybersecurity, IP protection, and post-market issues. It is also experienced in advising both established and start-up companies on private equity and venture capital-related financings, M&A, licensing, IPO, compliance and disputes. The firm additionally assists pharmaceutical/biotech companies with complex regulatory issues. The practice is jointly led by Lei Li in Beijing, who provides an ‘unparalleled service‘, and senior counsel Chen Yang, who splits her time between Beijing and Sydney. Also on the mainland, Ruchun Ji regularly acts for emerging life sciences companies.

Practice head(s):

Lei Li; Chen Yang

Other key lawyers:

Ruchun Ji

Testimonials

Lei Li – excellent professional ability and unparalleled service.

Key clients

Ferring China

Corium

CBC Group

BeiGene

AstraZeneca

Pivotal bioVenture Partners China

Frazier Healthcare Partners

Shanghai MicroPort MedBot

Work highlights

  • Advised Shanghai MicroPort MedBot (Group) Co (as HongKong and US counsel) on its IPO and H-share listing on the Main Board of the HKEX.
  • Advised R-Bridge Healthcare Fund, a subsidiary fund of healthcare-focused CBC Group, on a $40m royalty-backed financing for Yisheng Biopharma Co, a China-based biopharmaceutical company.
  • Advised Ferring Pharmaceuticals (China) Co. on its strategic collaboration with Hybio Pharmaceutical Co.