Hogan Lovells advises Merz Therapeutics on strategic license and collaboration agreement with Vensica

Led by partners Arne Thiermann and Jörg Herwig international law firm Hogan Lovells has advised global company Merz Therapeutics, a business of Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH and part of the Merz Group, and a leader in the field of neurotoxins, on a strategic license and collaboration agreement with Israeli urology start-up Vensica Therapeutics Ltd.

Under the partnership, Merz Therapeutics and Vensica agreed to collaborate on the delivery of Merz’s botulinum neurotoxin A (Xeomin®) to the bladder wall by using Vensica’s innovative ultrasound-assisted delivery catheter. In doing so, Merz Therapeutics becomes the exclusive supplier of neurotoxin A for any needleless application in urological indications, such as overactive bladder, neurogenic bladder and interstitial cystitis and other urology indications. 

Vensica’s proprietary ultrasound-assisted drug delivery system is an innovative minimally invasive solution to urology. The system enables needleless delivery of drugs to the bladder wall in a simple and quick procedure. Xeomin® is distributed by Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH in more than 70 countries to treat patients with upper and lower limb spasticity, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm or hypersalivation.

The long-term partnership includes Merz’s intention to participate and invest in Vensica. Under the terms of the agreements, Merz has already received, in addition to royalties, equity shares from Vensica with the option for further investments in the upcoming years. Additionally, Merz will receive a seat on Vensica’s Board of Directors. 

Vensica will be responsible for the pre-clinical and clinical development of the needleless device and will prepare and file the marketing approval application. Upon marketing approval of the needleless device, Merz will be responsible for the manufacturing and supply of Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) and Vensica will manage commercial activities for the needleless device worldwide, except in Japan. 

With support of local Israeli law firm Gross GKH, Hogan Lovells advised Merz Therapeutics in close collaboration with Cornelia Keller (General Counsel of Merz Therapeutics) on all legal matters regarding the transaction, in particular on all licensing and collaboration aspects as well as the investment into Vensica.

"It was a great pleasure to support long-standing client Merz in this strategic collaboration and cooperate closely with the Merz legal and business team," said Hamburg partner Arne Thiermann. 

"The transaction is a great showcase of Hogan Lovells' life sciences capabilities," added Frankfurt partner Jörg Herwig.

Hogan Lovells team for Merz Therapeutics

Arne Thiermann (Partner, Life Sciences & Health Care SOAR, Hamburg), Dr. Jörg Herwig (Partner/Notary, Private Equity Transactions, Frankfurt), Konstantin Weber (Associate, Private Equity Transactions, Frankfurt), Sarah Zucht (Projects Associate, Life Sciences & Health Care SOAR, Munich)

Gross GKH team for Merz Therapeutics

Hili Cohen (Partner, Life Science, Tel Aviv), Orel Heskiau (Associate, Hi-Tech and Venture Capital, Tel Aviv)


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