McDermott Represents Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in its Spin-off of Osteoarthritis Asset Sprifermin to High Line Bio and TrialSpark


International law firm McDermott Will & Emery represented Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, through its subsidiary Ares Trading S.A., in a venture-capital style investment in and its licensed spinoff of global intellectual property rights for a regenerative monoclonal antibody known as “Sprifermin”, being investigated to treat osteoarthritis, to High Line Bio, Inc., a new US-based company formed for this purpose by TrialSpark, which uses its tech-enabled platform to run end-to-end clinical trials.

  • The transaction was announced on January 10, 2022.
  • This transaction continues the strategic evolution of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s  immunology pipeline.  McDermott also represented it in earlier spinoffs to the US, for example, of assets to address inflammatory and progressive aspects of multiple sclerosis within the central nervous system, and autoimmune kidney disease.
  • The McDermott team was led by Albert Sokol and included Jennifer Bock, Rebecca Dufur, Robert Cohen, David Levine, Michael Bruno, Keith Hagan and Michael Wilder.
  • Read Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s press release here.

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2020, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 17.5 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

About McDermott

McDermott Will & Emery partners with leaders around the world to fuel missions, knock down barriers and shape markets. Our team works seamlessly across practices, industries and more than 20 locations to deliver highly effective—and often unexpected—solutions that propel success. More than 1,200 lawyers strong, we bring our personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for our clients and the people they serve.

Media Contacts