Sidley achieved a victory for I-Mab (Nasdaq: IMAB) in a multi-year long dispute over two collaboration agreements between I-Mab and Tracon Pharmaceuticals (Tracon).
The international arbitration related to (1) the collaboration agreement to co-develop I-Mab’s proprietary CD73 antibody, uliledlimab (TJD5) (the “TJD5 Agreement”), and (2) the collaboration agreement to potentially co-develop I-Mab’s bi-specific antibodies (the “BsAb Agreement”).
The tribunal determined that the TJD5 Agreement had been terminated for a pre-agreed termination fee plus interest and confirmed the termination of the BsAb Agreement as well. The tribunal denied Tracon’s groundless damages claim of over US$200 million for any breach under the BsAb Agreement and awarded no damages to Tracon. Based on the arbitration award, I-Mab will bear a portion of Tracon’s legal fees and costs.
The resolution of the disputes is crucial for I-Mab to preserve and further realize the value of uliledlimab and the bi-specific antibody portfolio through accelerating clinical development and ongoing global partnership discussions. For example, I-Mab has described one of its bi-specific antibodies, TJ-CD4B, as a “new generation” therapy having “the potential to treat highly challenging cancers, such as gastric cancer, one of the most prevalent cancer types in China and an illness that often suffers from poor prognosis.”
“The Sidley team’s meticulous attention to detail, thoughtful analysis, and effective communication were instrumental in achieving this favorable outcome. From the initial consultation to the final ruling, Sidley has provided us with world-class legal services and support, ensuring that our case was presented in the most compelling way possible,” Richard Li, chief legal officer of I-Mab, commented.
I-Mab is a dynamic, global biotech company exclusively focused on discovery, development, and, soon, commercialization of novel or highly differentiated biologics in the therapeutic areas of immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases.
The Sidley team was led by partners Ruchun Ji (Shanghai and Palo Alto), Tai-Heng Cheng (New York and Singapore), Scott Nonaka (San Francisco), Friven Yeoh (Hong Kong and Singapore), and Thomas Duley (San Francisco). Other team members included Naomi Igra (Counsel, San Francisco), Nathaniel Lai (Counsel, Singapore), Sui Hang Hui (Senior managing associate, Hong Kong), Gaëlle Tribié (Senior managing associate, New York), and other associates and paralegals across Sidley’s Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Singapore offices.
Sidley’s Global Life Sciences practice, which comprises more than 200 dedicated lawyers globally, offers cross-disciplinary, full-service solutions for life science clients, ranging from M&A and private equity, licensing and collaboration transactions, capital markets, regulatory compliance and enforcement, and dispute resolutions, assisting biotech and pharmaceutical clients around the world. Sidley’s China Life Sciences practice, an integral part of the firm’s Global Life Sciences practice, is the only Band One international firm ranked by Chambers Asia Pacific/Greater China Region for 14 consecutive years.
Sidley was named “International Arbitration Practice Group of the Year 2022” by Law360. The team in Asia recently won the “International Arbitration Firm of the Year” award at the Asia Legal Awards 2023, hosted by Law.com International. The firm’s International Arbitration team, spread across Sidley’s offices worldwide, represents clients in arbitrations concerning high-value, high-stakes disputes on every continent, in most major industries, and before all the major international arbitral institutions.