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Ropes & Gray Advises on 2 of the Top 5 Biopharmaceutical M&A and 3 of the Top 10 Licensing & Collaboration Deals in 2021

Practices: Life Sciences, Health Care, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities & Public Companies, FDA Regulatory, Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Transactions, Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits, Real Estate Investments & Transactions, Tax, Antitrust, Strategic Licensing Programs, Joint Ventures, Collaborations and Alliances, IP Structuring in M&A, Spinouts & Reorganizations, Strategic Commercial Agreements, Private Equity

Ropes & Gray represented clients in two of the top five biopharmaceutical mergers & acquisitions and three of the top ten biopharmaceutical licensing and collaboration deals in 2021 measured by deal value, according to an analysis of data published in PharmaCompass. IP transactions partner Hannah England (Freeman) (Boston) advised clients in two of the top 15 licensing and collaborations. The firm also advised clients in 4 of the top 20 biopharmaceutical licensing and collaboration deals. Mergers & acquisitions partner Emily Oldshue (Boston) represented clients in two of the top 10 M&A deals. Ropes & Gray was involved in the following biopharmaceutical M&A transactions: 

  • Acceleron in its $11.5 billion sale to Merck & Co. This was one of Merck’s biggest acquisitions ever and diversified the pharmaceutical company’s pipeline by adding Acceleron’s drugs to target rare diseases. Life sciences M&A partner Chris Comeau (Boston) advised Acceleron The team included mergers & acquisitions counsel Aileen Kim (New York), employment & benefits partner Renata Ferrari (Boston), life sciences partner Marc Rubenstein (Boston), antitrust partner Michael McFalls (Washington, D.C.), and tax partner Leo Arnabold (New York).
  • Pfizer Inc. in its agreement to acquire Arena Pharmaceuticals, a company developing innovative potential therapies for the treatment of several immuno-inflammatory diseases. Pfizer agreed to acquire all the outstanding shares of Arena for $100 per share in an all-cash transaction for a total equity value of approximately $6.7 billion. Mergers & acquisitions partner Emily Oldshue (Boston) advised Pfizer. The team included employment, executive compensation & benefits partners Loretta Richard and Renata Ferrari (both of Boston), litigation & enforcement partner Rocky Tsai (San Francisco), tax partner David Saltzman (Boston), real estate partner Peter Alpert (Boston), life sciences regulatory & compliance partner Joshua Oyster (Washington, D.C.), life sciences partner Amanda Austin (Boston), mergers & acquisitions counsel Aileen Kim (New York), health care counsel Leslie Thornton (San Francisco), real estate counsel Chrystal LaRoche (New York) and litigation & enforcement counsel Patrick Welsh (Boston).

Ropes & Gray was involved in the following biopharmaceutical licensing and collaborations:

  • Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a leader in RNA-targeted therapies, in its $3.5 billion agreement AstraZeneca to develop and commercialize eplontersen, Ionis’ antisense medicine for the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis protein. Ionis will receive $200 million upfront and up to $485 million in development and approval milestones, and up to $2.9 billion in sales-related milestone payments. Life sciences partner Marc Rubenstein advised Ionis. The team included antitrust partner Mike McFalls (Washington, D.C.), and litigation & enforcement counsel Deidre Johnson (Boston) and life sciences associate Ana Gomez-Palazzo (Boston).
  • Adaptimmune in its $3.3 billion strategic collaboration with Roche Group’s Genentech Inc. to research, develop and commercialize cancer-target allogeneic T-cell therapies, under which the companies will combine their technologies and expertise to research and develop “off-the-shelf” cell therapies for up to five cancer targets and develop a novel allogeneic personalized cell therapy platform. IP transactions partner David McIntosh and IP transactions associates Evan Tallmadge (both of Boston) and Sonya Aggarwal (San Francisco) advised Adaptimmune. The team included IP transactions partner Hannah England (Freeman) (Boston), antitrust partners Mike McFalls (Washington, D.C.) and Ruchit Patel (London), antitrust counsel Deidre Johnson and associate Derek Yee (both of Boston).
  • Shape Therapeutics in a strategic research collaboration and license agreement with Roche worth up to $3 billion to use Shape’s RNA-editing platform and adeno-associated virus technology to identify and develop treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. IP transactions partner Hannah England (Freeman) and associate Rob Treut advised Shape Therapeutics. The team included IP transactions partner David McIntosh (Boston).
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