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Lawyers in the Palo Alto office of <b>Skadden</b>, <b>Arps</b>, <b>Slate</b>, <b>Meagher</b> & <b>Flom</b> represented Biosearch Italia SpA, a publicly traded company based in Italy, in its merger with Versicor Inc., a Fremont-based company. The stock-for-stock deal is worth about $260.7 million. The merger created a host of novel legal and regulatory challenges. The deal is believed to be the first merger between publicly traded companies in the U.S. and Italy, said <b>Kenton King</b>, the lead partner. The regulatory issues stem from the fact that the companies will maintain a dual listing on both Nasdaq and its Italian equal, Nuovo Mercato. Because of the dual listing, the firms had to wade through many U.S. and Italian statutory provisions relating to shareholders, King said. The Skadden team, along with its Italian counterparts at <b>Chiomenti Studio Legale</b>, had to make sure the merger was in compliance and coordination with the SEC and CONSOB, the Italian counterpart. “It is a unique deal,” said King. “From our perspective it also very much demonstrates the alliance between Chiomenti and Skadden. We worked very well together as an integrated team providing legal services.” The merger results in an international biopharmaceutical company that will create and market antibiotic and anti-fungal agents in the United States and Europe. In addition to King, Skadden’s Palo Alto team included partner <b>Ronald Laurie</b>; associates <b>Simi Agarwal</b>, <b>Kambiz Izadi</b>, <b>Joseph Yang</b>, <b>Robert Beyers</b> and <b>Stacey Farmer</b>; and of counsel <b>Keith Belknap Jr</b>. and <b>Lonny Block</b>. <b>Product</b>, <b>patent rights</b> Managing Partner <b>James Snipes</b> of <b>Covington</b> & Burling’s San Francisco office led a team that advised Gillette Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on the $38.5 million sale of product and patent rights for a pharmaceutical discovery. The sale, for the product and patent rights to Vaniqa, a topical cream used to stem the growth of facial hair on women, presented a fortunate byproduct: The active ingredient in Vaniqa is an effective therapy for African sleeping sickness, a sometimes fatal disease ravaging sub-Saharan Africa. Until now, the agent was not being produced. “[Sleeping sickness] is a neglected disease that the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t have commercial incentive to address,” Snipes said. Now, the active ingredient will again be produced and be available. Associate <b>Carey Roberts</b> also worked on the deal.

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