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July 21, 2005
NEW YORK, NY, July 21, 2005 - Covington & Burling advised Emory University in the sale of its emtricitabine royalty interest to Gilead Sciences and Royalty Pharma for $540 million. The royalty interest was sold through means of an auction run by Citigroup Global Markets, financial advisor to Emory University, and is the largest known sale of a royalty stream for a pharmaceutical product. Emory's share of the transaction will be reinvested in its research mission following the terms of the Bayh-Dole Act passed by Congress in 1980 to encourage commercialization of research by universities.
According to James Wagner, president of Emory, universities are reaping the benefits of royalty rights to intellectual property at an earlier stage in their life-cycle rather than waiting for uncertain future returns. This groundbreaking transaction paves the way for other universities and research institutions to monetize significant royalty streams.
Emtricitabine was discovered by Emory researchers Dr. Dennis C. Liotta, Dr. Raymond F. Schinazi and Dr. Woo-Baeg Choi and licensed to Triangle Pharmaceuticals by Emory in 1996. Triangle was acquired by Gilead in 2003. Emtricitabine, marketed by Gilead as Emtriva®, was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2003 for the treatment of HIV infection in combination with other antiretroviral agents. Emtricitabine is a component of Truvada®, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 2004 for the treatment of HIV infection in combination with other antiretroviral agents. Emtricitabine is also a component of the triple fixed-dose combination product under development by the Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead Sciences joint venture.
Throughout the sale process, Covington worked closely with Emory's Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration along with the Office of the General Counsel and Office of Technology Transfer. The team was led by John P. Gourary and Jennifer C. Berrent and supported by Gus Caywood, Michael Labson, Michael Levy and Afshin Beyzaee.