Kirkland & Ellis advised drugmaker Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) on the acquisition of privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Versanis Bio. The potential value of the transaction is up to $1.925 billion in cash, including an upfront payment and subsequent payments upon achievement of certain development and commercial milestones. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
Versanis is focused on the development of new medicines for the treatment of cardiometabolic disease. Versanis’ lead asset is bimagrumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds activin type II A and B receptors to block activin and myostatin signaling. Bimagrumab is currently being assessed in the BELIEVE Phase 2b study alone and in combination with semaglutide in adults who are overweight or obese.
The Kirkland team was led by corporate partners Michael Brueck and Peter Fritz and associates Michael Nester and Justin Prindle; antitrust and competition partners Andrea Murino, Samantha Morelli and Thomas Wilson; executive compensation partners Rob Fowler and Lauren Sawyer; technology & IP transactions partners Shellie Freedman and Amber Harezlak and associate Trevor Snider; and tax partners Dean Shulman and Adam Kool.