Lia Der Marderosian


Co-Chair, Corporate Practice Group

Der Marderosian, Lia

Lia Der Marderosian is a leading corporate lawyer and trusted business advisor who helps clients navigate complex issues unique to the life sciences industry. She leads the firm's Corporate Practice Group as co-chair and has developed an exceptional practice representing life sciences companies—including biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies—in a variety of corporate and securities law matters for nearly 20 years.

Ms. Der Marderosian deeply enjoys learning about, and working with, life sciences companies to understand the complexities of their businesses. She provides ongoing counsel to boards, management teams and in-house counsel on general corporate matters, including formation, corporate governance, commercial transactions, financings and SEC compliance matters.

By combining strategic business advice and experienced legal counsel, she provides practical, solutions-oriented advice during all stages of the company lifecycle. Ms. Der Marderosian has extensive experience in structuring and negotiating transactions that will successfully advance a product from the discovery phase to commercialization. She has advised on numerous venture capital and strategic financings, initial public offerings, follow-on and other offerings, PIPEs and mergers and acquisitions.

In addition, Ms. Der Marderosian has a robust startup practice and has advised numerous entrepreneurs and emerging companies from formation to exit. Learn more about Ms. Der Marderosian's practice and how she can support your startup on

Recent Highlights

Ms. Der Marderosian represents clients ranging from private companies in various stages of development to mature public companies with particular focus on the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. The clients she represents include Alcresta Therapeutics, Inc., Cerulean Pharma, Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Spark Therapeutics, Visterra and XTuit Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. Der Marderosian's recent highlights include representing:

  • Bellerophon Therapeutics, Inc. in its initial public offering;
  • Constellation Pharmaceuticals in multiple preferred stock financings;
  • Cerulean Pharma in its initial public offering and follow-on offerings;
  • Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in multiple preferred stock financings;
  • Spark Therapeutics in its initial public offering and following offerings; and 
  • Visterra in multiple preferred stock financings.
  • XTuit Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in multiple preferred stock financings.

Honors & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States in 2016 for her healthcare: life sciences practice
  • Named to the Women's Business Boston's Top 10 Corporate Lawyers list
  • Listed as a "New England Super Lawyer" in the 2011 and 2012 editions of Boston Magazine

Professional Activities

Ms. Der Marderosian is a frequent speaker on corporate transactions, governance and other matters relating to life sciences and biotechnology companies.

She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association. Ms. Der Marderosian is also a member of the firm's Women's Leadership Initiative and Hiring Committee.

Community Involvement

Ms. Der Marderosian is a member of the Board of Directors of Project Bread and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Epiphany School.

Publications & News


July 27, 2017

WilmerHale Represents Kala Pharmaceuticals in $103.5 Million IPO

On July 25, 2017, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the closing of its initial public offering of 6,900,000 shares of common stock, including the underwriters' exercise in full of their option to purchase an additional 900,000 shares, at the public offering price of $15.00 per share.

June 9, 2017

The Legal 500 United States 2017 Recognizes 125 WilmerHale Lawyers Across 28 Practice Areas

The Legal 500 United States has released its 2017 rankings, recommending 125 WilmerHale lawyers—including 12 who are named to its elite “Leading Lawyers” list and two on its “Next Generation Lawyers” list—and 28 practice areas in its 11th edition.

May 10, 2017

WilmerHale Represents Fulcrum Therapeutics in Series A Financing from GV

Fulcrum Therapeutics announced that it has secured additional Series A funding from GV (formerly Google Ventures) to support the continued advancement of its lead programs in Fragile X syndrome and Fascioscapularhumeral muscular dystrophy.

April 28, 2017

2017 Venture Capital Report

The 2017 Venture Capital Report offers an in-depth US venture capital market review and outlook, including industry and regional breakdowns, as well as a look at the following issues: steps startups should take now if they plan to secure a Series A round in 2017; common structures for management carve-out plans; best practices for private companies setting option exercise prices; the benefits of investing in qualified small business stock; and trends in venture capital financing terms, convertible debt terms and VC-backed company M&A deal terms.

December 15, 2016

WilmerHale Reps Spark Therapeutics in Licensing Agreement with Selecta Biosciences

Spark Therapeutics and Selecta Biosciences, Inc. announced a license agreement that provides Spark Therapeutics with exclusive worldwide rights to Selecta's proprietary Synthetic Vaccine Particles platform technology for co-administration with gene therapy targets.

July 22, 2016

Third Rock Ventures Launches Fulcrum Therapeutics with $55M Series A Investment

Third Rock Ventures, LLC announced the launch of Fulcrum Therapeutics, a company focused on unlocking gene control mechanisms to develop small molecule therapies.

June 24, 2016

WilmerHale Advises Spark Therapeutics in Public Offering

Spark Therapeutics, Inc. announced the closing of an underwritten public offering of common stock pursuant to an automatically effective shelf registration statement that was previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

June 22, 2016

The Legal 500 United States 2016 Recognizes 111 WilmerHale Lawyers Across 30 Practice Areas

The guide's rankings are based on a series of criteria, including client feedback, interviews with private practice lawyers, and its own research.

April 15, 2016

Kala Pharmaceuticals Announces Closing of $68 Million Series C Financing

On April 13, 2016, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative ophthalmic products based on its proprietary mucus-penetrating particle technology, announced that it closed a $68 million Series C preferred stock financing.

May 6, 2013

2013 IPO Report

Our 2013 IPO Report offers a detailed analysis of, and outlook for, the IPO market. The report features regional breakdowns, a Q&A with former SEC Corp Fin Director Meredith Cross, and a discussion of the use of social media for investor communications under Regulation FD. We review the elements of relief being chosen by emerging growth companies under the JOBS Act; offer practical insight on “test-the-waters” communications and scheduling the first annual meeting of stockholders; summarize IPO disclosure requirements applicable to directors, officers, 5% stockholders and selling stockholders; discuss Form 10 IPOs as an alternative route to going public; and present useful IPO market metrics that are ordinarily unavailable elsewhere.


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JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1998

BS, Psychology, summa cum laude, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 1995

Bar Admissions


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