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Colin is Partner in the Corporate Department with extensive experience in international transactions and equity investments in Ireland. Colin is widely recognised as a leading expert in the life sciences, medical device and technology sectors.
Colin's clients include a broad range of companies operating in the life sciences and related sectors including biotechnology, pharmaceutical and med tech companies, research institutions and government institutions such as: Alimentary Health, Alkermes, Apica Cardiovascular, Azur Pharma, Biogen-Idec, DCU, Elan Corporation, i360, GenCell Biosystems, Jazz Pharma (Azur Pharma), Merrion Pharmaceuticals, NUI Galway, Ovagen Limited, Proxy Biomedical, Quintiles, Q3 Medical Devices Limited, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Shionogi.
Colin also acts for a number of companies in the Food and Beverage Sectors who are increasingly becoming involved in intellectual property based transactions and related financings.
Colin is an active member of the Licensing Executives Society Laws Committee (Britain and Ireland) and the Irish American Chamber of Commerce Research & Development Committee (which has engaged with a number of state agencies). For four years Colin was a member of the Business Law Committee of the Law Society of Ireland.
From 1996 to 2002 Colin was vice president and general counsel of Elan Pharmaceutical Technologies (Elan’s drug delivery division). In 2002 Colin was promoted to senior vice president and played a leading role in the restructuring of Elan that involved the sale of assets worth in excess of $1.8 billion. Colin was also centrally involved in managing the legal aspects of the SEC investigation into Elan’s accounting policies and the related litigation involving class action suits by some Elan shareholders. Prior to joining Elan Corporation plc in 1994 Colin worked as a solicitor with another Dublin law firm.
Key transaction experience
The following are some examples of clients and/or transactions in which Colin has acted:
- Advised 3D4Medical on the sale of a 38% stake in the company (valued at US$16.4 million) to Malin Corporation plc.
- Advised Alimentary Health on a number of transactions, including agreements with Mead Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Norgine.
- Advised Alder Biopharmaceuticals in connection with the incorporation of an Irish subsidiary and related matters.
- Advised Altan Pharma on the sale of a 65% stake in the company to Malin Corporation plc; and on the Irish aspects of its acquisition of the Spanish GES Group.
- Advised Amarin on its US$100 million hybrid debt including financing with Biopharma.
- Acted for Amryt Pharmaceuticals DAC in connection with the successful reverse takeover of Fastnet Equity plc, which has been renamed Amryt Pharma plc. As part of this transaction we also acted for Amryt DAC in connection with the acquisition of Birken AG and on certain matters relating to the acquisition of SomPharmaceuticals SA and SomTherapeutics, Inc.
- Providing ongoing advice to Artugen Therapeutics in relation to a range of corporate and commercial matters.
- Advised Assembly Biosciences on the incorporation of its Irish subsidiary and providing ongoing corporate advices.
- Advised Avectas Limited on its spin out from NUI Maynooth, various investment rounds and licensing strategy.
- Advised Azur Pharma on the acquisitions of FazaClo® and Prialt®, and the merger between Azur and Jazz Pharmaceuticals.
- Providing ongoing advice to B.Braun Hospicare on structural and governance matters.
- Advised Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia and Kerry Foods in relation to the conclusion of the original Functional Food Centre (Competence Centre) at UCC; and the conclusion of the second Functional FoodCentre (Food for Health Ireland) headquartered at UCD.
- Advised Cosmo Pharmaceuticals on its proposed merger with Salix Pharmaceuticals (US$2+ billion).
- Advised Elan Corporation (now Alkermes) on numerous licensing and other transactions and the merger of Elan Drug Technologies with Alkermes.
- Providing ongoing advice to ERS Genomics on its licensing of revolutionary genome editing technology, CRISPR-Cas9.
- Advised the vendors in the sale of Firecrest Clinical to Icon plc.
- Advised HealthXL on its establishment, structuring and ongoing legal requirements.
- Advised Heart Metabolics on its US$35 million Series A investment from venBio, Seroba Life Sciences, Australian Super and AshHill.
- Providing ongoing advices to i360 Medical in relation to corporate and commercial matters.
- Advised Inflazome Limited in connection with its Series A financing round of up to €15 million, which was led by venture capital firms Novartis Venture Funds and Fountain Healthcare Partners. Also advised on licensing IP and knowhow in connection with this transaction.
- Advised Mainstay Medical on its IPO on the ESM and the EURONEXT; on its US$20 million Series B financing; and on the relocation of the company from US to Ireland.
- Advised Meroven in connection with its establishment in Ireland and related corporate matters.
- Advised Merrion Pharmaceuticals on its listing and on various transactions, including two US$58 million licence agreements with Novo Nordisk.
- Advised Morningside Investments in relation to their first investment in an Irish life sciences company (Artugen Therapeutics).
- Advised Mutares AG on the sale of Suir Pharma Ireland to Saneca Pharmaceuticals.
- Advised Neuromod Devices on its €5.5 million investment from Fountain Healthcare Partners.
- Providing ongoing corporate advice and advice regarding various agreements related to its clinical study.
- Advised Nexvet Biopharma plc (NASDAQ:NVET) on its complex corporate reorganisation, and on its fully underwritten US$40 million IPO.
- Acted for Ornua (formerly the Irish Dairy Board) on a number of licence agreements. Advised Opsona Therapeutics on various matters, including its Phase I and II clinical trials and the spin-out of Trimod Therapeutics.
- Advising Proxy Biomedical on a number of its licence and distribution agreements.
- Advised Q3 Medical Devices on various fundraisings totalling approximately €48.6 million, corporate restructurings, commercial contracts and strategic transactional matters.
- Advised Sharecare, Inc on Irish aspects of its acquisition of certain companies owned by Healthways, Inc.
- Acted for the shareholders of Techno-Path Distribution on its 80% sale to publicly listed Diploma PLC and on put and call agreements with regard to the remaining shareholding.
- Advise animal nutrient innovator Tonisity International on its Irish establishment and operational requirements.
- Advised numerous international clients in connection with the establishment of their Irish operations (including by way of branch or company).
- BA (Mod) (Legal Science) Trinity College Dublin, 1981
- Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in England and Wales, 1984
Market commentators appreciate Colin Sainsbury's "detail-oriented but practical approach." One client says: "He brings his considerable deal-making experience in the life sciences and pharmaceutical space to bear on our interactions with partners big and small." - Chambers Europe, 2018
Colin Sainsbury has a "good reputation on IP licensing and exploitation" and is "a big name" in the life sciences sector, according to market commentators. - Chambers Europe, 2018
Clients appreciate that he is "generous with his time and advice." - Chambers Europe, 2018
Life sciences practice head Colin Sainsbury singled out for his knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector. - Legal 500, 2018
Sainsbury ‘outlines options clearly’. - Legal 500, 2018
Colin Sainsbury is ranked as a Leading Individual by Legal 500, 2018
The unrivalled Colin Sainsbury has an enviable cache of industry experience, with one client describing his mixture of legal and business acumen as a "compelling combination." He is revered for his transactional expertise and is "particularly good in licensing and commercial agreements." He acted for Nexvet Biopharma on the closing of its IPO on the NASDAQ. One client says: "He understands our business intuitively and provides fantastic support," lauding him as "very customer-focused." - Chambers Europe, 2017
Colin Sainsbury possesses considerable knowledge of licensing agreements and transaction-related IP law, with significant expertise in the life sciences sector. Clients advise: "He is very experienced, incredibly diligent and responsive." - Chambers Europe, 2017
Clients say that Colin Sainsbury "gives good advice and is very responsive." He routinely acts for clients from the life sciences sector on acquisitions and investments. Sainsbury acted for 3D4Medical on the acquisition by Malin of a 38% shareholding in the company. - Chambers Europe, 2017
Colin Sainsbury leads on life sciences matters at ByrneWallace and has ‘deep knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector, in particular international licensing agreements’. Sainsbury recently advised Amryt Pharma on the reverse takeover of Fastnet Equity. - Legal 500, 2017
Colin Sainsbury is ranked as a leading individual by Legal 500, 2017.
Colin is recommended Chambers Europe, Chambers Global for both Ireland and as a USA expert based
Colin Sainsbury comes recommended for his corporate activity in the life sciences sector, as well as for his knowledge of technology and IP-related issues, and his experience of matters involving US-based clients. Sources describe him as "commercially astute, with a good perspective in terms of how to get a deal done," adding: "He is an excellent communicator and deals with all parties involved very impressively." - Chambers Europe, 2016
Described as 'very commercial' - Legal 500, 2015
An expert in medical technology, Colin Sainsbury assisted Heart Metabolics with a USD20 million financing round. One interviewee reveals that "he has a high level of integrity and protects the interests of the company very well." He is well versed in mandates involving major US-based investors - Chambers & Partners (Global), 2015
Colin Sainsbury is broadly acknowledged for his extensive expertise in life sciences IP: "He has great industry knowledge, and there is very little he hasn't seen before in terms of deal dynamics and specifics." Sainsbury recently advised Merrion Pharmaceuticals on the complex IP arrangements of its strategic partnership with Hovione. Sources consider him a "calm and assured" lawyer with "great gravitas." - Chambers & Partners (Europe), 2015
‘Few firms have the level of industry expertise’ of ByrneWallace. Head of life sciences Colin Sainsbury has ‘detailed knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector’. - Legal 500, 2015
Life sciences head Colin Sainsbury is lauded for his "excellent understanding of healthcare, pharma and drug delivery." - Chambers & Partners (Global), 2014
According to sources, Colin Sainsbury "has an industry mindset. His advice is direct, clear and always in the interests of the company. He gives us all scenarios and possibilities but takes a pragmatic view that allows us to move forward as a business." - Chambers & Partners, 2014
On the life sciences side, Colin Sainsbury is noted for his active practice and impressive client base. Peers regard him as a “real specialist” in the sector. - Chambers & Partners (Global), 2013
Colin Sainsbury is highly recommended for his life sciences expertise. Clients say "when we want to work with someone who really knows what the Pharma industry is about, we choose Colin" - Chambers & Partners, 2012
Colin Sainsbury "is among Dublin's leading experts in the life sciences industry." He specialises in transactions involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices. - Chambers & Partners, 2011
Colin Sainsbury is a key player in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors and sources refer to him as "a top expert in the IP field". - Chambers & Partners, 2010
ByrneWallace has "highly responsive and pragmatic partners" and a particular niche in pharmaceutical and healthcare matters, with former Elan general counsel Colin Sainsbury singled out for "business savvy combined with good knowledge of the industry" - Legal 500, 2010