Life Sciences

Life Sciences

Advising life sciences innovators, investors and industry leaders on complex transactions, legal issues and business challenges.

Key Contacts

Meet Our Team

Areas of Focus

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View the Presentation Materials From Our Recent Webinar, CFIUS for Life Sciences Companies: What You Need to Know


View the Presentation Materials From Our Webinar, Maturing Markets: Opportunities and Risks in Life Sciences Refinancings and Restructurings



  • Capital Markets Transactions

    Represented Aileron Therapeutics, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Arsanis, Kala Pharmaceuticals and Syros Pharmaceuticals in recent IPOs, and the underwriters in the IPO of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, as well as clients in a broader selection of capital markets transactions including follow-on offerings and Rule 144A placements of convertible notes.
  • Licensing and Strategic Alliances

    Represented Agios Pharmaceuticals in a global license agreement with Aurigene Discovery Technologies; Decibel Therapeutics in a strategic collaboration with Regeneron; Editas Medicine in a strategic R&D alliance with Allergan; MacroGenics in a global collaboration and license agreement with Incyte Corporation; Spark Therapeutics in a licensing agreement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals; and strategic collaborations for Summit Therapeutics, Translate Bio and Visterra.
  • IP Counseling and Post-Grant Proceedings

    Successfully representing a Danish pharmaceutical firm in a patent prosecution matter involving methods of treating Alzheimer’s Disease; successfully invalidating a patent through IPR proceeding on behalf of a global medical device company; facilitating settlements and wins at the PTAB through the IPR process, challenging six patents on behalf of a British multinational medical device company; and securing a significant victory for a global biopharmaceutical company when the PTAB rejected an IPR filed by the adverse party challenging our client’s patent related to their anticoagulant drug product.
  • Patent Litigation and Licensing Disputes

    Achieved a significant victory on behalf of multiple medical device and diagnostics companies in an infringement suit filed by a biotechnology company when the District of Delaware granted summary judgment invalidating the key patent asserted against our clients; successfully represented a biopharmaceutical company at the Federal Circuit involving a patent covering its parent company’s blockbuster oncology drug; prevailed on behalf of a pharmaceutical company at the Federal Circuit pertaining to its colonoscopy prep kit product; obtained a trial victory and Federal Circuit affirmance in favor of a British pharmaceutical company, involving a patent covering its prostate cancer treatment; provided ongoing representation of two global biopharmaceutical companies against 25 different generic companies concerning the Orange Book–listed patents for their anticoagulant drug product; represented a pharmaceutical research and development company in some of the first litigations arising under the Biologics Price Competition  and Innovation Act in relation to biosimilars of the company’s immunosuppressive drug; and represented clients in litigation and arbitration involving licensing disputes.
  • Venture Capital Financings

    Represented Generation Bio in its $100 million Series B financing, Alcresta Therapeutics in its $35 million Series C financing, Pandion Therapeutics in its $58 million Series A financing, Disarm Therapeutics in its $30 million Series A financing, Cydan in a $34 million round of financing, Hyalex Orthopaedics in its $16 million Series A financing, Trevi Therapeutics in its $50 million Series C financing, Apellis Pharmaceuticals in its $60 million Series E financing, Visterra in its $46.7 million Series C financing, and numerous others. Also represent leading life sciences venture funds and other strategic investors, such as Atlas Venture, Flagship Pioneering, MPM Capital, Sofinnova Ventures and many others, in financings.
  • M&A

    Represented Mitobridge in its acquisition by Astellas Pharma for $450 million (including contingent payments), PTC Therapeutics in its acquisition of all rights to Emflaza™ (deflazacort) from Marathon Pharmaceuticals for $140 million (plus contingent payments), Vtesse in its acquisition by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals for $200 million (not including contingent payments), and Cynosure in its acquisition by Hologic for $1.65 billion.
  • Securities Fraud Litigation and SEC Investigations

    Defend clients in federal securities fraud class action suits, derivative suits, and US Securities and Exchange Commission investigations related to disclosures surrounding the progress of clinical trials, the FDA approval process, and product safety and efficacy. Successful representations include recent wins on behalf of Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, ConforMIS, InVivo Therapeutics, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Medtronic, and many others.
  • Real Estate Transactions

    Represented a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded real estate investment trust in multiple transactions, including leasing matters, joint ventures, acquisitions, financings and development projects for office, lab and retail complexes in key life sciences cluster locations; represented a real estate developer that specializes in healthcare facilities in the acquisition, leasing and development of the first-ever proton therapy center in New York City; and counseled a global pharmaceutical company in the development of its more than a million-and-a-half square-foot campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from the time it chose to shift its major research headquarters from Europe to Cambridge through the present.
  • Trade Industry Representation

    Represented Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) as amicus before the Second and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals addressing two antitrust issues of significance to the industry: Hatch-Waxman reverse payment settlements, and so-called “product hopping” claims. On behalf of PhRMA, we submitted antitrust briefs addressing product hopping to the Second Circuit in the Namenda case, and to the Third Circuit in the Doryx case. We also submitted an amicus brief addressing reverse payments to the Third Circuit in Wellbutrin.


  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Named WilmerHale a top law firm for life sciences from 2007–2019 with sources saying our attorneys are “great at teamwork and they're also hiring very good juniors, a longstanding team which works very well together, in which everyone speaks openly and adds to the solution, “responsive, efficient and very technically sophisticated,” “best in class” and “highly professional with a broad range of experience.” 
  • LMG Life Sciences - Named WilmerHale a Life Cycle Firm of the Year in 2017 and 2018, and awarded the firm a Finance and Transactional Impact Case of the Year Award in 2017 and Hatch-Waxman Impact Case of the Year Award in 2018. LMG has also ranked the firm in its 2012–2018 editions in patent prosecution, patent strategy and management, general patent litigation, Hatch-Waxman patent litigation, corporate, licensing and collaboration, M&A, venture capital and white collar/government investigations, and previously named WilmerHale a Life Cycle Firm in 2012–2015.
  • Managing IP - Recognized WilmerHale as one of the best in the United States for life sciences from 2013–2018. In 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019, WilmerHale was named the Patent Contentious Firm of the Year and in 2013, the Pharmaceutical IP Litigation Firm of the Year. 
  • Chambers Global - Recognized WilmerHale as a leader in life sciences from 2013–2018, and noted that sources appreciate the firm’s “client service, commerciality and value for money.”
  • In Vivo - Named Regeneron’s novel deal with Decibel Therapeutics, represented by WilmerHale, as the Top Alliance 2017 Deal of the Year.
  • Lake Whillans - The Life Sciences Law Firm Index, launched in 2016, included WilmerHale among the top three life sciences law firms (2016, 2017), as the top firm for startup work (2017), among the top 10 deal firms (2017), the top two patent law firms (2016) and top 10 firms for thought leadership (2016).
  • The BTI Consulting Group Inc. - Named WilmerHale among the top 10 law firms for having strong and lasting client relationships with the pharmaceutical industry in its BTI Power Rankings 2017 report.
  • The Legal 500 US - Ranked WilmerHale among the top law firms for life sciences from 2013–2019 with sources saying the "team excels in litigation, as well as transactional and IP matters," and the firm “brings a great deal of experience to any situation” and “has access to additional expertise/resources to help solve any problem.”
  • U.S. News - Best Lawyers® - Recognized the firm in its 2014–2019 Best Law Firms lists in the first tier nationally for biotechnology law, corporate law, intellectual property litigation, mergers & acquisitions law, patent law, securities/capital markets law, securities litigation and venture capital law. For 2019, WilmerHale received first-tier metropolitan rankings in Boston, Colorado, New York, San Jose and Washington DC for several of these and other practice areas relevant to the life sciences industry.   

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