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


March 21, 2018

Selected 2018 Public Offerings and Rule 144A Placements

In 2017, we handled more than 40 public offerings and Rule 144A placements raising approximately $18 billion, for leading companies in life sciences, technology, financial services, communications and other industries. Since 2007, we have served as counsel in approximately 400 public offerings and Rule 144A placements with total proceeds in excess of $150 billion.

March 21, 2018

Selected 2018 Venture Financings As Company Counsel

In 2017, we served as counsel in more than 250 venture financings raising over $4.5 billion, including some of the largest and most prominent deals of the year. Since 2007, we have handled more than 2,800 venture financings with total proceeds in excess of $35 billion.

March 16, 2018

WilmerHale Recognized for Outstanding International Lawyers and Practices in Chambers Global 2018

In the 2018 edition of Chambers Global, 33 WilmerHale lawyers were named among “The World's Leading Lawyers for Business."

March 15, 2018

WilmerHale Represents Behavioral Biometrics Leader BioCatch in Closing $30M New Investment

BioCatch, a global leader in behavioral biometrics, announced that it has closed a $30 million financing round, cementing its growth plan and vision to redefine digital identity and enable renewed trust in online interactions.

February 28, 2018

WilmerHale Represents Generation Bio in $100M Series B Financing

Generation Bio, a company developing the first genetic medicines that can be titrated to effect and re-dosed for a lifetime of benefit, recently announced the closing of a $100 million Series B financing.

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.