M. Adel Aslani-Far was once again on hand as Eli Lilly and Co. moved to bolster its drug pipeline. The Latham & Watkins LLP partner represented the drug giant on its Nov. 17 agreement to take a $150 million stake in United Therapeutics Corp. as well as supply the biotech firm with its erectile dysfunction drug, tadalafil, sold under the brand name Cialis. United Therapeutics will pay Eli Lilly an up-front $150 million for the rights to market tadalafil to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension in the U.S.
Aslani-Far has worked on a string of deals for Eli Lilly of late, including representing it on its $6.5 billion successful bid for ImClone Systems Inc., in which it beat out rival Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. In 2006, Aslani-Far toiled for Eli Lilly on the purchase of Icos Corp., which gave Lilly complete ownership of the company that made and marketed the erectile dysfunction drug. For that deal, Aslani-Far worked under the Dewey Ballantine LLP banner but was lured away by the Latham lawyers who represented Icos.
In this latest go-round, Aslani-Far was joined on the Latham team by Silicon Valley partner Charles Hoyng. Merrill Lynch & Co. provided financial advice to Eli Lilly, with Ivan Farman heading the effort. Merrill was also involved in the 2006 Icos transaction, as Icos' bankers, while Goldman, Sachs & Co. advised Eli Lilly.
Silver Spring, Md.-based United Therapeutics tapped its regular law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where Washington-based relationship partners Stephen Glover and Anne Benedict led the way. The two also counseled United Therapeutics in its $250 million convertible debt offering in 2006. For financial advice, the company brought in healthcare boutique investment bank Leerink Swann & Co.