Press Release
December 15, 2021

Goodwin Represented Qilu Pharmaceutical in Exclusive Licensing Agreement and Strategic Partnership with Arbutus to Develop and Commercialize HBV RNAi Therapeutic in Greater China

The Life Sciences team advised Qilu Pharmaceutical, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in China (“Qilu”), in its exclusive licensing agreement and strategic partnership with Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq: ABUS), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing a cure for people with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (“Arbutus”), for the development and commercialization of AB-729 for the treatment or prevention of hepatitis B in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

AB-729 is Arbutus’s lead RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic that is currently in multiple Phase 2a proof-of-concept clinical trials designed to evaluate it in combination with other approved or investigational agents.

Under the terms of the agreement, Arbutus will receive a $40 million upfront payment and will be entitled to additional payments of up to $245 million upon reaching certain development, regulatory and sales milestones. Qilu will be responsible for funding all development and commercialization activities for mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Arbutus is also entitled to receive double-digit tiered royalties up to the low twenties percent on annual net sales. In addition, Qilu will make a $15 million equity investment in Arbutus common shares.

Qilu is a leading vertically integrated pharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative medicines. With a diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics, 10 manufacturing sites and more than 23,000 employees worldwide, Qilu is dedicated to transforming scientific innovation by internal R&D across 5 R&D platforms based in the US (Seattle WA, Boston MA, San Francisco CA) and China (Shanghai, Jinan), and external partnership globally into healthcare solutions to address unmet medical needs.

Arbutus is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on discovering, developing and commercializing a broad portfolio of assets with different modes of action to provide a cure for people with chronic HBV infection.

The Goodwin team was led by Dr. Can Cui, and included Xiaowei Wu, Maggie WongJacob OsbornAmy Josselyn, Paul Jin, William Harrington and Emily Unger

For additional details on the licensing agreement, please read the press release.