Latham Advises Afferent Pharmaceuticals in its Acquisition by Merck

Valued at up to US$1.25 billion, the transaction will help enable the advancement of innovative therapies for patients with conditions like chronic cough.

June 09, 2016

Merck and Afferent Pharmaceuticals have announced a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire the privately held pharmaceutical company based in California. Under terms of the agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire all outstanding stock of Afferent in exchange for an upfront payment of $500 million in cash. Also, Afferent shareholders will be eligible to receive a total of up to an additional $750 million associated with the attainment of certain clinical development and commercial milestones for multiple indications and candidates, including AF-219.

Latham & Watkins LLP represents Afferent Pharmaceuticals in the transaction with a corporate team led from the firm’s Silicon Valley office by partners Patrick Pohlen, Benjamin Potter and Luke Bergstrom, with associates Mark Bekheit, Riley Lochridge and Samuel Jones. Advice has also been provided on antitrust matters by partner Joshua Holian in San Francisco; on benefits and compensation matters by partner James Metz and associate Ashley Wagner in Silicon Valley; on tax matters by partner Grace Chen and associate Jessica Chen in San Francisco; on intellectual property matters by partner Judith Hasko in Silicon Valley; and on regulatory matters by partner John Manthei and associate Amy Speros in Washington D.C.

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