Corporate Finance LIFE SCIENCES

Providing sophisticated legal and business advice to life sciences companies and investors on complex transactions.

Our corporate team's lawyers receive widespread recognition as leaders in providing sophisticated legal and business advice, and particularly for their work in venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and other capital markets transactions, public company counseling, strategic alliances, licensing and governance matters. We have served clients in thousands of complex transactions and, with sophisticated corporate practices in Asia and Europe, our capabilities include foreign investment transactions and cross-border business issues. We represent private companies and venture funds in venture capital financings, ranging from early-stage to mezzanine rounds of financing. Since 2004, we have been involved in more life sciences initial public offerings in the eastern United States than any other law firm. We have also represented life sciences companies and leading underwriters in follow-on public offerings and Rule 144A placements, and have experience representing issuers, placement agents and investors in PIPE financings. Our real estate lawyers have counseled life sciences clients on acquiring, leasing, developing and permitting pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing facilities.


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Falber, Stuart M.

Stuart M. Falber

Co-Chair, Life Sciences Group

+1 617 526 6663 (t)

Juran, Belinda M.

Belinda M. Juran

Co-Chair, Technology Transactions and Licensing Practice Group

Co-Chair, Life Sciences Group

+1 617 526 6987 (t)

Der Marderosian, Lia

Lia Der Marderosian

Co-Chair, Corporate Practice Group

+1 617 526 6982 (t)


Brian A. Johnson

Vice Chair, Corporate Practice Group

Co-Chair, Capital Markets

+1 212 937 7206 (t)

Singer, Steven D.

Steven D. Singer

Chair, Transactional Department

+1 212 295 6307 (t)

Venture Capital

We represent both private companies and venture capital funds in their investments in the life sciences industry. Representative private companies that we have assisted in recent venture capital financings include:

  • Aileron Therapeutics
  • Apellis
  • Ataxion
  • Constellation Pharmaceuticals
  • Corvia Medical
  • Innocrin Pharmaceuticals
  • Kala Pharmaceuticals
  • Kolltan Pharmaceuticals
  • Nantero
  • Syntimmune
  • Visterra, Inc.
  • Viamet Pharmaceuticals

On the venture fund side, we have represented Advanced Technology Ventures, Atlas Venture, Clarus Ventures, Flagship Pioneering, MPM Capital, New Leaf Ventures, Sofinnova Ventures and many others. We are also equipped to handle the unique issues that arise in investments by pharmaceutical companies in biotechnology companies as part of strategic alliances.

Capital Markets Transactions

We represent both issuers and underwriters in initial public offerings, follow-on public offerings, PIPE placements, cross-border offerings, Rule 144A transactions and other private placements. Our experience ranges from IPOs by emerging companies to private offerings of sophisticated debt instruments by established public companies. In 2016, we advised leading companies in life sciences and other industries on more than 35 public offerings and Rule 144A placements raising approximately $25 billion. Since 2006, we have served as counsel in more than 400 public offerings and Rule 144A placements raising a total of approximately $150 billion (learn more).

Our experience includes the representation of:

  • Bellerophon Therapeutics, Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Cerulean, ConforMIS, Editas Medicine, Eleven Biotherapeutics, Nabriva Therapeutics, Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Syros Pharmaceuticals, Summit Therapeutics, Tokai Pharmaceuitcals and uniQure in initial public offerings;
  • Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Argos Therapeutics, Epizyme, Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Karyopharm Therapeutics, Ocular Therapeutix, Ophthotech, Spark Therapeutics and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals in initial public and follow-on offerings;
  • the underwriters in the initial public offerings of Adaptimmune, Biotie Therapies, MacroGenics, ProQR Therapeutics and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals;
  • Curis, Idera Pharmaceuticals, Intercept Pharmaceuticals and Thermo Fisher Scientific in follow-on public offerings; and
  • The Medicines Company and PTC Therapeutics in Rule 144A placements of convertible note offerings.

Real Estate

The representation of landlords, tenants, developers and investors in life sciences transactions calls for sophisticated experience in light of the peculiar issues associated with startups, heavy upfront investment, integrity of laboratory space, environmental matters, security, decommissioning, and related concerns. Over the past several years, we have represented owners and developers in the development and leasing of more than three million square feet of life sciences space. Our unsurpassed experience in this sector includes the acquisition, development and leasing of numerous properties, as well as complex restructurings of distressed leases and projects.

Representative matters include:

  • representing a publicly traded pharmaceutical company in the development of its "Laboratory of the Future" in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
  • representing a publicly traded life sciences REIT on numerous acquisitions, joint ventures, developments and leases, including: 
    • the acquisition of the 1,200,000-square-foot Technology Square and Life Sciences Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
    • the formation of a joint venture to develop and lease a 415,000-square-foot life sciences facility in Boston's Longwood medical area;
    • the development of a 1,500,000-square-foot life sciences campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
    • the development of a 750,000-square-foot international sciences facility in Toronto's Discovery District;
    • the leasing of a 50-building New England portfolio of office laboratory buildings;
    • the development of 91,000 square feet of office laboratory space in New York's East River Science Park;
    • the development of a build-to-suit full-building lease in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and
    • the development of a 70,000-square-foot lease at Technology Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
  • representing the developer of the acquisition, joint venture, financing and lease-up of a 400,000-square-foot life sciences campus in Lexington, Massachusetts;
  • representing a pharmaceutical company in the development and expansion of its R&D and manufacturing facilities in Milford, Massachusetts; and
  • counseling numerous life sciences companies in their leasing of laboratory space.

Publications & News


January 30, 2018

WilmerHale Represents Ocular Therapeutix™ in Public Offering of Common Stock

Ocular Therapeutix™, Inc. announced the closing of its underwritten public offering of 7,475,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $5.00 per share.

December 15, 2017

WilmerHale Reps Decibel Therapeutics in Strategic Collaboration With Regeneron

On November 29, 2017, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Decibel Therapeutics, Inc. announced a collaboration to discover and develop new potential therapeutics to protect, repair and restore hearing.

December 11, 2017

WilmerHale Represents Editas Medicine in $50M Offering of Common Stock

Editas Medicine, Inc., a leading genome editing company, announced the pricing of an underwritten offering of 1,970,000 shares of its common stock.

November 29, 2017

WilmerHale Reps Voyager Therapeutics in Public Offering of Common Stock

Voyager Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing treatments for severe neurological diseases, announced the closing of its underwritten public offering of 5,175,000 shares of its common stock.

November 17, 2017

WilmerHale Reps Achillion Pharmaceuticals in Pricing of Secondary Offering of Common Stock

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 18,367,346 shares of its common stock by existing stockholder Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Inc., which shares constitute all of JJDC's equity position in Achillion, at a public offering price of $2.75 per share.

November 14, 2017

WilmerHale Reps Apellis Pharmaceuticals in Initial Public Offering

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutic compounds to treat disease through the inhibition of the complement system, announced the closing of its initial public offering.

November 7, 2017

LMG Life Sciences 2017 Honors WilmerHale With Top Rankings

LMG Life Sciences has recognized WilmerHale among the nation's leading life sciences law firms in its 2017 rankings, citing the firm's Life Sciences Practice as “renowned for its range and multidisciplinary teams that counsel clients in technology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies as well as investment banks and venture capitalists.”

October 26, 2017

WilmerHale Reps MacroGenics in Global Collaboration and Licensing Agreement With Incyte

MacroGenics, Inc. and Incyte Corporation announced that they have entered into an exclusive global collaboration and license agreement for MacroGenics' MGA012, an investigational monoclonal antibody that inhibits programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1).

October 26, 2017

WilmerHale Serves as Counsel to Idera Pharmaceuticals in Public Offering of Common Stock

Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the pricing of its underwritten public offering of 33,333,334 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $1.50 per share.

October 19, 2017

WilmerHale Reps Cydan in Raising $34M to Accelerate New Treatments for Rare Genetic Diseases

Cydan, the first orphan drug accelerator dedicated to advancing therapies that improve the lives of patients with rare genetic diseases, announced a new round of financing, raising a committed total of $34 million to advance the company's efforts to create new and innovative therapies for patients living with rare genetic diseases.