Young scientist works in modern biological lab
Young scientist works in modern biological lab ()

Kirkland & Ellis is the latest Am Law 100 firm to reap the benefits of the recent boom in health care–related M&A. The firm is advising Bristol-Myers Squibb on its agreement to buy biotechnology company iPierian for up to $725 million.

Bristol-Myers said Tuesday it will pay $175 million in up-front cash for South San Francisco, Calif.–based iPierian, which develops treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The deal also calls for Bristol-Myers to pay up to $550 million in additional payments based on whether certain development and regulatory milestones are met by iPierian products.

The deal comes on the heels of a string of major transactions in the health care and pharmaceutical industries, led by Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ $45.7 billion hostile bid for Botox maker Allergan and Pfizer’s announcement that it is seeking a $98.7 billion purchase of U.K. rival AstraZeneca. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis also announced a series of restructuring deals with GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly last week while Forest Laboratories said Monday it will pay up to $1.46 billion to buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals.

Kirkland is taking the lead for Bristol-Myers with a team led by New York–based corporate partners Daniel Wolf and David Feirstein. In December the firm advised Bristol-Myers in a deal to sell its diabetes business to AstraZeneca for up to $4.1 billion.

Baker & McKenzie is serving as tax counsel to Bristol-Myers with a team led by New York–based partners Scott Brandman, Jonathan Stevens and Reza Nader. Associate general counsel Joseph Campisi is leading Bristol-Myers’ in-house legal team, according to a source with knowledge of the transaction.

Gunderson Dettmer is representing iPierian in connection with its sale to Bristol-Myers, according to the source.