NERA Helps AOP Win in €140 Million Pharma Arbitration

13 January 2021

New York—NERA Economic Consulting supported Schönherr, the leading Austrian law firm, to provide economic analysis, damage quantification, and testimony in an arbitration involving Schönherr’s client AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG (“AOP”), an Austrian pharmaceutical company specializing in the treatment of rare diseases, against Taiwanese biopharmaceutical company PharmaEssentia Corporation.

The dispute arose over the development and commercialization of a new orphan drug called BESREMi® (for treatment of rare blood cancer diseases). By agreement with PharmaEssentia, AOP had completed the clinical and regulatory development of BESREMi® in the European Union and had exclusive distribution rights for commercializing BESREMi® in Europe and the Middle East. PharmaEssentia, as the patent owner and licensor of BESREMi®, tried to terminate the underlying agreement with AOP. AOP did not accept that termination and started arbitration proceedings against PharmaEssentia, claiming damages for late commercialization due to PharmaEssentia’s uncooperative behavior.

As part of the case led by Schönherr, NERA’s Frankfurt-based Managing Director Dr. Yves Hervé and his team—including Dr. Georg Siegert and Fabian Peters—were hired as economic experts for AOP to calculate the quantum of damages. Dr. Hervé testified as an expert witness before an arbitration tribunal held under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

On Tuesday, 20 October 2020, after two and a half years of arbitration proceedings, the tribunal ruled in favor of Schönherr’s client AOP, who was awarded approximately 143 million euros in damages. The damage calculation was based on NERA’s economic modelling.

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