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Covington Advises Northwestern University in $700 Million Pharmaceutical Royalty Sale


NEW YORK, NY, December 18, 2007 — Covington & Burling LLP advised Northwestern University in the sale of a portion of its worldwide royalty interest in Lyrica® to Royalty Pharma for $700 million in cash. The transaction is the largest sale ever of a royalty stream for a pharmaceutical product.

John Gourary, co-head of Covington’s finance practice, together with Andrew Ment, an associate in Covington’s corporate practice, worked closely with Northwestern to structure, plan, and execute the transaction. Both are resident in the firm’s New York office.

The net proceeds from the partial sale of royalty rights will be placed in the University’s endowment and will be used in accordance with federal law to help support financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students, startup costs for the University’s research efforts, construction of new buildings and laboratories and improvements to existing facilities, and for other purposes.

“Essentially, we are converting a potential stream of future royalty revenues from Lyrica into an immediate cash payment,” said Eugene S. Sunshine, Northwestern’s senior vice president for business and finance.

Lyrica® is used to treat nerve pain associated with diabetes and shingles and to help manage pain caused by fibromyalgia. It is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc., the world’s largest research-based biomedical and pharmaceutical company. Lyrica® is based on the chemical compound pregabalin, first synthesized at Northwestern.

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