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Drugs don’t come cheap — not for the patient who buys them, and not for the company that develops them. So when Cooley Godward partner James Fulton Jr. guided private pharmaceutical developer ARYx Therapeutics Inc. through a Series D round of financing worth $55 million, he wasn’t shocked. But he was impressed. “Fifty-five million is bigger than most of the public offerings we do,” Fulton said. “It shows how capital-intensive and expensive drug development is.” Santa Clara-based ARYx uses a proprietary approach to make existing drugs safer and easier to metabolize, according to the company. Its drugs to treat atrial fibrillation and gastroesophageal reflux disease are in Phase 1 clinical trials. The company’s latest financing round, announced June 1, was led by London-based Nomura Phase4 Ventures. Other investors who contributed to the deal are located in Japan, New York and elsewhere. “It’s the internationalization of venture capital in Silicon Valley,” said Fulton. “It’s becoming more common.” The company plans to use the funds to expand its clinical programs. The additional money “provides a very long runway for the company to achieve what should be significant milestones,” said Fulton, adding that ARYx’s management team is focused on making the entire company more valuable, rather than just their share. Said Fulton, “We like to call that focusing on the size of pie rather than the size of a piece of the pie.” Paul, Weiss, Rifkind wharton & Garrison represented Nomura Phase4 Ventures. In addition to Fulton, Cooley’s team included special counsel Frederick Dorey and associates Erik Edwards and Sue Wang. – Adrienne Sanders SPRECHEN SIE VALLEY? When VeriSign Inc. went shopping for a German company, it didn’t invite Bay Area attorneys. The Mountain View infrastructure company sought a German firm to nail down its acquisition of Berlin-based Internet content provider Jamba AG. But VeriSign ended up with Silicon Valley counsel anyway when it hired Latham & Watkins’ Frankfurt lawyers to handle the deal. “What is so neat about it is that Latham has been focusing on globalizing,” said Ora Fisher, a partner in Latham’s Menlo Park office who worked on the deal. “For Silicon Valley companies, our global footprint lets them work with one firm to do these kind of transactions.” VeriSign paid approximately $237 million for Jamba, 65 percent in cash and 35 percent with stock. “It’s an interesting transaction because it gives VeriSign a significant presence in Germany,” Fisher said. And it also “puts VeriSign more on the content side.” VeriSign, which provides services for Internet and telecommunications networks, is known for registering Internet domain names. Latham partners Ulrich Wuermeling and Marcus Herrmann, based in the firm’s Frankfurt office, led the deal team. In addition to Fisher, who provided counsel on U.S. securities law, associate Jennifer Frolik assisted from the Menlo Park office. Weil, Gotshal & Manges represented Jamba. Partner James Westra, in the firm’s Boston office, was the lead attorney. – Brenda Sandburg

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