Transaction Case Studies

New Company Established By Parent Company and Not-for-Profit Research Institution


  • Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), a leading company focused on developing synthetic genomics-based solutions to a variety of global issues including new biofuels, vaccines, and nutritional products;
  • Recognized that technology had applications in the vaccine field, and wished to (i) form a new company, Syntheic Genomics Vaccines, Inc. (SGVI), with the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI); and (ii) establish an R&D collaboration with Novartis;
  • Engaged Locust Walk Partners as its strategic advisor.

Key Activities

  • Provided guidance on SGI/SGVI licensing terms, based on strategic intent and analysis of comparable licensing agreements
  • Provided advisory services to SGI in support of SGVI formation, including vaccine sector analyses.
  • Advisor on structure of SGVI agreement with Novartis

Successful Outcome

  • October 7, 2010: SGI and JCVI announce formation of new company, SGVI, to develop next generation vaccines
  • SGVI announces three-year collaboration with Novartis on the development of influenza vaccines using synthetic genomics technology. The agreement, supported by an award from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), could ultimately lead to a more effective response to seasonal and pandemic flu outbreaks.

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CLIENT: Synthetic Genomics

PARTNER: Novartis

Advisor in Forming New Company Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc. and Advisor on Structuring