Arbutus and Roivant form Genevant Sciences

On April 12, 2018, Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Arbutus), an industry-leading hepatitis B virus (HBV) therapeutic solutions company and Roivant Sciences Ltd. (Roivant) announced that they have entered into an agreement to launch Genevant Sciences (Genevant), a jointly-owned company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of a broad range of RNA-based therapeutics. Under the terms of the agreement, Roivant will contribute $37.5 million in transaction-related seed capital for Genevant. 

Roivant was represented by Allen Waxman, Averill Powers, David Jakus, Selina Anabwani, Kenneth Peist of their internal legal group. Lawson Lundell LLP acted as Canadian counsel for Roivant with a team led by Valerie Mann, and including Crispin Arthur (corporate), Leonard Glass (tax), Deborah Cushing (employment) and Andrew Mildenhall (leasing). 

Arbutus was led by Elizabeth Howard as in-house counsel. Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acted as Canadian counsel for Arbutus with a team led by Warren Learmonth, Stephen Robertson (corporate), Randy Morphy (tax) and Steve Winder (employment). 

White & Case LLP (New York) acted as US counsel for Roivant; and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (New York) acted as US counsel for Arbutus. 

Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP acted as counsel to the special committee of the Board of Arbutus, with a team led by Hector MacKay-Dunn, QC, Ron Murray and Robert Veitch.