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Arnold & Porter Advises Touchlight on Renegotiated License with AskBio and Joint Venture Exit

February 11, 2022

Arnold & Porter advised biotechnology and CDMO company Touchlight ( on its renegotiation with AskBio (, a clinical stage adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy company, of their joint venture and licence arrangements regarding access to Touchlight's proprietary dbDNA technology for use in AAV manufacturing.

Touchlight's General Counsel, Brad Theobald, said: "We are grateful for the Arnold & Porter team's outstanding support on these important transactions for Touchlight."

As part of the transactions, Touchlight transferred its interests in the JV vehicle and Spanish manufacturing facility to AskBio, whilst regaining the co-exclusive right for its CDMO operations to manufacture and commercialize synthetic DNA vectors called dbDNA™ (or "doggybone" DNA) in the field of AAV alongside AskBio.

Touchlight's dbDNA offers a safer, faster and more scalable approach to synthesizing DNA sequences and addresses a key bottleneck in the supply chain for DNA-based products, including AAV-based gene therapies.

The London-based Arnold & Porter team was led by partners Jeremy Willcocks and Ewan Townsend, and senior associate Tom Wilson, who advised Touchlight on the formation of the JV in 2018 and have continued to advise Touchlight on all of its aspects since then. The team also included Corporate & Finance associate Emelia Hunt on corporate matters and partners Dr. Beatriz San Martin and Monty Taylor, together with senior associate Shishu Chen on IP and life sciences matters.