Debevoise Advises Johnson & Johnson on Purchase of Option to Acquire Bird Rock Bio

5 January 2017

Debevoise is advising Johnson & Johnson in its purchase of an exclusive option to acquire Bird Rock Bio, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative immuno-inflammatory regulators. Bird Rock is developing a cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1)-targeting antibody, namacizumab, for the potential treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

The option consideration will be used by Bird Rock Bio, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, to a fund a phase 1 study of namacizumab, where the drug will be administered to small test groups to evaluate product safety, determine dosage ranges and identify any side effects. Following phase 1 clinical trials, Johnson & Johnson may elect to acquire Bird Rock Bio pursuant to the terms of a fully negotiated merger agreement which the parties entered into in connection with the purchase of the option.

The Debevoise team is led by partner Kevin A. Rinker and includes partners Jennifer L. Chu and Meir D. Katz, and associates Julia J. Ahn, Douglas M. Hirn, Ross Liemer and John Rothert.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges, applying clear commercial judgment and a distinctively collaborative approach.