Akin Gump Advises Roswell Park in First-Ever Biotech Venture Between U.S. and Cuba
(Washington, D.C.) – On September 26, 2018, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center announced that it had formed Innovative Immunotherapy Alliance S.A., the first-ever biotech venture between the U.S. and Cuba. This historic step will advance the research and development of new cancer medicines that may prolong and enhance survival for thousands of U.S. patients. The announcement was made at an event in Buffalo, NY by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Roswell Park CEO Dr. Candace Johnson. A team from Akin Gump advised Roswell Park in the formation of the joint venture.
This new joint venture gives Roswell Park access to CIMAvax-EGF and three additional cancer drugs — unique approaches to treating some of the most deadly and burdensome cancer types both in the U.S. and globally — for U.S. patients and researchers. The milestone marks another step toward researching, developing and eventually commercializing promising cancer drugs for the benefit of patients in the U.S.
The announcement advances Roswell Park’s historic collaboration with the Cuba-based Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM), which required a first-of-its-kind U.S. government license authorizing a U.S.–Cuba commercial partnership. (For more on Akin Gump’s role in that matter, please click here.)
The Akin Gump team representing Roswell Park in the formation of the joint venture was co-led by international trade partner Wynn Segall and cross-border transactions partner Melissa Schwartz, and includes:
- cross-border transactions partner Tom Trimble;
- international trade senior counsel Nnedinma Ifudu Nweke and associate Dallas Woodrum,
- intellectual property partner Karol Kepchar and senior counsel Angela Verrecchio, and
- Cuba practice co-chair Scott Parven, and senior advisor Anya Landau French.
Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
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