Life sciences and healthcare: foreign firms in China

Baker McKenzie FenXun

Forming an integral part of its wider Asia-Pacific group, Baker McKenzie FenXun‘s China healthcare practice stands out for its fielding of non-lawyer medical experts, lawyers who are medical practitioners, and lawyers who hold PhDs in medical-related fields, ranging from molecular biology, biotechnology and pharmacology to nursing and bioethics. In Hong Kong, regional head of the firm’s Asia-Pacific IP and technology practice, Isabella Liu advises several leading businesses from the life sciences sector, including globally recognised brands; and Tracy Wut is experienced in M&A and foreign direct investments. In Shanghai, Clement Ngai advises clients extensively on cross-border IP matters, as well as complex legal issues concerning technology research development in the life science industry.

Practice head(s):

Isabella LiuTracy Wut; Clement Ngai

Testimonials

Great expertise!

Clement Ngai is a great attorney with brilliant expertise and standalone knowledge!

The team has a wealth of experience in the field of biopharmaceuticals.’

Isabella Liu has a wealth of experience in the field of biopharmaceuticals and provides clients with effective answers to questions.’

Key clients

argenx

Hysan Development Company

Sino Biopharmaceutical

Takeda

Work highlights

  • Advised Hysan Development Company on a take-private transaction involving a US-listed company.
  • Advised Argenx on its strategic collaboration and exclusive license agreement with Zai Lab, for the development and commercialisation of efgartigimod (an investigational antibody fragment) in Greater China.
  • Advised Takeda, the global oncology business unit of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, on the licensing and commercialisation of an oncology drug.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP‘s highly experienced practice has over 20 life sciences specialists in China. In addition to notable regulatory expertise (where it works at the forefront of human genetic regulation, data privacy and research compliance), the team is experienced in China life sciences-related M&A private equity and venture capital investment, licensing and collaborations, IP, white-collar defence, securities and fund formations. In Hong Kong, Arthur Mok, primarily acts for global pharmaceutical and medical device companies, biotechs and scientific entrepreneurs, as well as life sciences and healthcare investment funds pursuing opportunities in China; and Katherine Wang is a life sciences regulatory specialist. Shanghai’s Geoffrey Lin focuses on commercial IP transactions; Eric Wu is a former legal head from Johnson & Johnson’s Asia Pacific innovation centre; and David Chen is an experienced life sciences, technology transactions and data privacy counsel.

Practice head(s):

Arthur Mok

Testimonials

Very experienced in life science transactions.

Professionals in the healthcare sector with the capability to provide cross-border legal service.

Eric Wu and Arthur Mok are excellent lawyers who provide high-quality services to clients.

Katherine Wang is very responsive, proactive and experienced.

Key clients

LianBio

Assembly Biosciences

Zai Lab

Innovent Biologics

Coherus Biosciences

Profex

BioNova Pharmaceuticals

CANbridge Pharmaceuticals

CASI Pharmaceuticals

Agenus

Allen & Overy LLP

Comprising a multi-disciplinary team of highly experienced lawyers in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, Allen & Overy LLP‘s China team advises pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices, diagnostics and healthcare companies, as well as private equity and financial institutions operating or investing in the healthcare or life sciences sectors. The practice’s life sciences offering also benefits from the presence of domestic PRC law experts, through the firm’s joint operation with Shanghai-headquartered Lang Yue Law Firm, which provides specialist IP and pharmaceutical regulatory advice in China. The group is co-led by Shanghai-based pharmaceutical and medical devices transactions specialist Jack Wang, and Hong Kong’s Eugene Chen, an anti-bribery, corruption and compliance specialist partner.  Victor Ho handles corporate and M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jack Wang

Other key lawyers:

Victor Ho; Lina Lee; Jill Ge

Key clients

China Medical System

Luye Pharma Group

Sihuan Pharma

UBS

Guosen Securities

CCB International

CMS

With a longstanding track record in the life sciences sector, CMS acts for leading global life sciences companies, covering corporate, IP, commercial, regulatory, compliance, tax, transfer pricing, competition, dispute resolution and anti-corruption issues. Nicholas Beckett, who works across the firm’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices, has extensive experience in advising companies from the life sciences and healthcare sector, including Japanese pharmaceutical companies; and Shanghai-based Nicolas Zhu acts for foreign companies (and foreign-invested companies) in China, particularly European businesses. Asdociate Roxie Meng is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Beckett; Nicolas Zhu

Other key lawyers:

Roxie Meng; Fan Wu

Testimonials

Nicholas Beckett is an excellent lawyer and industry expert.

Key clients

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

The Wellcome Trust

UCL

GlaxoSmithKline

Tasly Holding Group Co

Bayer

Medtronic

Eli Lilly

Novartis

Boehringer-Ingelheim

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP‘s dedicated group of over 40 professionals has ‘a great deal of involvement in the life sciences market and wealth of experience in the industry.’ The Shanghai practice is sought out by both innovative new businesses and mature public companies throughout their business life cycles, and it is consistently instructed by US life sciences businesses on cross-border matters into China. Christina Zhang has over 20 years’ experience in US and China-related, cross-border life sciences work; Shanghai corporate head James Lu advises life sciences companies and their investors on cross-border corporate and securities mandates, and Patrick Loofbourrow acts for high-growth life sciences clients and their venture capital investors.

Practice head(s):

James Lu; Christina Zhang

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Loofbourrow

Testimonials

They are excellent, particularly with their quick responses and handling of requests.

They pay attention to details and will often suggest innovative solutions that will require them to go the extra mile.

They listen to clients’ comments patiently and pay attention to detail. Their attitude is client-oriented, and they do their best to safeguard clients’ business and needs.

It must be difficult to provide legal advice on the Chinese legal system to Japanese clients in English, but Christina Zhang does this in a very effective manner.

James Lu’s educational background and work experience in both China and the US enables him to truly stand out from the crowd and distinguish himself. His extensive experience of working in both China and the US enables him to provide professional perspectives and support. He also has keen insights and a deep understanding and awareness of the industry.’

The firm has been working in China for many years, has a very comprehensive understanding of the biomedical industry in both China and the US, and provides very instructive opinions. They are able to allocate a complete range of personnel, all of which have a high level of professionalism and expertise, and offer good value for money and flexible working hours.’

Cooley has a wealth of experience in fundraising, product licensing and due diligence for patents for the biomedical sector, both at an international level and within China. As the team’s abilities cover a wide range of fields, they were able to meet our needs in terms of a number of our services.’

Christina Zhang is always able to complete projects to a high standard with high quality.’

Key clients

3D Bio

Akeso Biopharma Co

AffaMed Therapeutics

CBC Capital

Cerus Corporation

CStone Pharmaceuticals

EpimAb Therapeutics

Gelesis

GENFIT

Gracell Biotechnologies

HiFiBIO Therapeutics

Legend Biotech

Luqa Ventures Co

Zhejiang Puissance Capital

RemeGen

SCYNEXIS

Silicon Therapeutics

Simcere Pharmaceutical Group

Syracuse Biopharma

VISEN Pharmaceuticals

Zai Labs

Work highlights

  • Advised Gelesis on its license agreement with China Medical System for the commercialisation of Plenity in China.
  • Advised CStone Pharmaceuticals on its $200m equity sale and multifaceted strategic collaboration with Pfizer.
  • Advised Silicon Therapeutics on its $450m sale to Roivant.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s Greater China life sciences practice leverages the firm’s substantial China regulatory expertise when navigating complex regulatory hurdles; and it is able to draw upon the expertise of several partners from corporate, IP, employment, litigation and arbitration teams in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Through the firm’s association with the PRC’s Fujian Fidelity Law Firm, the group is additionally able to provide integrated international and domestic Chinese legal advice to clients operating in China. The Beijing-based department is co-headed by Greater China practice chair, Jun WeiRoy Zou, and Lu Zhou. Senior associate Jessie Xie is noted for her regulatory expertise.

Practice head(s):

Jun Wei; Roy Zou; Lu Zhou

Other key lawyers:

Andrew McGinty; Andrew Cobden

Testimonials

The Hogan Lovells team is very easy to work with, and very well versed in working with US-based clients doing business in China.

Key clients

Merck & Co

Alvotech

Work highlights

  • Engaged by Labcorp to assist with a global rebranding project that will involve changing the business names of over 90 legal entities in its Covance Drug Development segment.
  • Advised Mass General Brigham on various hospital projects and China set-up matters.
  • Advised OnKure on its restructuring of group companies to streamline operations to yield a more efficient business model, and to facilitate the company’s fundraising.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

With a practice driven by science and housing several PhD-qualified practitioners, Morrison & Foerster LLP‘s Greater China life sciences team advises on the full range of transactions arising during life sciences companies’ life cycle. It excels in licensing and technology transfer arrangements, monetisation schemes, strategic collaborations, dispute settlement agreements and joint ventures. The principal figures in Shanghai are Chuan Sun, who focuses on cross-border corporate/commercial transactions, and complex IP and regulatory matters; and Ruomu Li, who is active in life sciences sector deals, and whose career includes working in Silicon Valley. In Hong Kong, Thomas Chou is Asia private equity co-head, and Gordon Milner leads the Asia technology practice; both actively assist clients on high-value transactions.

Testimonials

Despite their different professional backgrounds and skills, the Hong Kong and US teams work well together.

Thomas Chou solves problems in a very patient, quick and effective way.

Key clients

Ally Bridge Group

CBC Group (formerly C-Bridge Capital)

Changchun High & New Technology Industry Group

Everest Medicines

Everest Medicines II

Henlius

Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co

Triastek

Xingren Trusted Doctors

Work highlights

  • Advised Ally Bridge Group on various growth, late stage and public life sciences investments across the US and Europe.
  • Advised subsidiaries of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China on its capital and strategic alliance with Shionogi & Co.
  • Assisted Everest Medicines (and its subsidiaries) with certain IP opinions concerning the IPO and listing of Everest Medicines on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Arnold & Porter

Globally recognised for its life sciences credentials, Arnold & Porter‘s multi-disciplinary China team includes regulatory experts, as well as experienced antitrust, white-collar, litigation, IP, product liability and transactions practitioners; and the firm provides on-the-ground legal services from Shanghai to a broad range of multinational life sciences companies doing business in China, and Chinese companies conducting business overseas. Shanghai office's managing partner Andrew Chen has approximately 20 years of experience in food and drug law. John Tan, working primarily for life sciences clients, focuses on internal investigations and corporate compliance.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Chen

Other key lawyers:

John Tan; Jeffrey Yang 

Key clients

Thermo Fisher

Mylan

Operation Masks

Work highlights

  • Advised Thermo Fisher on the regulatory, antitrust, data privacy, and anti-corruption aspects of its acquisition of clinical research organisation PPD.
  • Advised Mylan on its merger with Upjohn, a division of Pfizer, so as to form a new global pharmaceutical company called Viatris.
  • Assisted OperationMasks with conducting compliance and regulatory due diligence on potential suppliers, and advised on China and US life sciences regulatory issues, US product liability matters, and China and US corporate issues.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird comprises leading lawyers from the firm’s corporate and commercial, data protection, dispute resolution, employment and IP practices. Hong Kong-based Alison Wong leads the Asia life sciences and healthcare group and advises on regulatory issues, market authorisations, clinical trial agreements and public sector procurement. Shanghai-based co-head of the China IP group Christine Yiu is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Alison Wong

Other key lawyers:

Christine Yiu; Jang Sae-Pang

Key clients

Medichem International

Merck

Natural Beauty Bio-Technology Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Medichem International on its divestment from a pharmaceutical joint venture company, by transferring all its equity interests in the joint venture to a shell company established by its Chinese shareholder.
  • Assisted Merck with trade mark infringement and unfair competition litigation against MSD Animal Health (Shanghai) Trading Co.
  • Advised Natural Beauty Bio-Technology on the resumption of trading of its shares after a prolonged suspension.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s multi-disciplinary team advises foreign multinational corporations and China-based clients on a broad range of M&A, regulatory, IP and employment matters. Hong Kong-based partner Sammy Fang leads the firm’s life sciences group and focuses on regulatory matters and investigations. In Shanghai, Qiang Li advises Chinese life science and pharmaceutical companies, and Ting Xiao (a former life sciences scientist)  who has notable IP expertise was promoted to of counsel in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Sammy Fang; Qiang Li

O'Melveny

Drawing upon its solid US life sciences and corporate practice, O’Melveny‘s China group has a significant track record for advising on life sciences and healthcare-related matters involving China; and it is best known for bringing major life sciences and biotech companies in China to the US and Hong Kong public markets. Beijing managing partner Ke Geng is a go-to lawyer for pharmaceutical, biotech, and life sciences-related capital markets IPOs and equity financings. Hong Kong-based corporate transactions specialist Portia Ku provides additional support.

Practice head(s):

Ke Geng

Other key lawyers:

Portia Ku

Testimonials

OMM is very well equipped with the high-tech and medical industries, and the OMM lawyers that I worked with had the best knowledge of the industry.’

The team stands out for its professionalism and proactive communication.’

Key clients

RemeGen

Akesobio

Peijia Medical

Simcere

JACOBIO

Honliv Healthcare

Hygeia

Keymed biosciences

Viva Biotech

Pharmaron

CICC

CITI

Brii Biosciences

Beijing Keya Medical Technology

Shanghai Bio-heart Biological Technology

Goldman Sachs

Betta Pharmaceutical

Acotec Scientific Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised RemeGen on its $515m IPO.
  • Advised Akesobio on its $383m IPO.
  • Advised Peijia Medical on its $300m IPO.