Investment Banking Advisory to the Life Science Industry

Aquilo Partners understands the risks and rewards associated with life science innovation. We have spent our careers providing transaction advice in this sector, and as a result, we understand the development, regulatory and commercial risks that companies must navigate. We also understand how to position, value and capture upside, which is crucial to structuring and closing successful transactions.

Our approach to strategic transactions and private placement fundraisings reflects our intimate knowledge of the life science industry and all of the options companies have in responding to inflection points. Aquilo Partners works closely with each client, leveraging our capabilities and extensive network with the needs of our clients.

  • Private Placement & Strategic Advisory

    Aquilo helps select private clients to raise capital, leveraging our proprietary relationships at venture capital, hedge funds, private equity and strategic investors

  • partnering

    Aquilo is a leader in structuring and negotiating licensing deals across all stages of development, where the expertise to advise on economic and non-economic terms of risk-sharing is critical

  • Sell Side

    Aquilo utilizes our analytical and industry expertise to initiate, structure and negotiate transactions, returning value upfront to shareholders and de-risking future payments

  • M&A

    Aquilo’s leadership and insight into the M&A process allow us work with acquirors to get transactions completed at attractive valuations



Aquilo Partners invests significant time getting to know our clients’ stories, enabling us to present compelling and tailored rationale to each potential buyer.

The strategic focus of buyers may change, key decisions makers may leave and internal programs often compete for resources – being intimately familiar with these dynamics is one way that Aquilo Partners is able to create value for our clients.

Acquisition by Becton Dickinson

Sale of point-of-care molecular diagnostics company


Acquisition by Boston Scientific

Sale of a privately held, venture-backed, GI company with strong early commercial traction

Xlumena, Inc.

Sale of a privately held, venture-backed, GI company with strong early commercial traction

Xlumena’s device portfolio includes the AXIOS™ and HOT AXIOS™ Stent and Delivery Systems. The AXIOS Stent and Delivery System has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and is the world’s first stent designed for endoscopic ultrasound-guided transluminal drainage of symptomatic pancreatic pseudocysts. The next-generation HOT AXIOS™ Stent and Delivery System incorporates cautery into the delivery of the AXIOS stent. Both systems have CE Mark and are currently sold in select countries in Europe.

Boston Scientific Corporation purchased Xlumena for an upfront payment of $62.5m, an additional payment of $12.5m upon FDA approval of the Hot AXIOS product, and further sales-based milestones based on sales achieved through 2018.

Aquilo worked closely with the Xlumena management team and Board of Directors and also provided advice on deal process, valuation and structure. The acquisition enables Boston Scientific, a leader in the EUS market, to advance its product portfolio with Xlumena’s leading interventional EUS therapeutic devices.

Acquisition Completed: April 2015

Location: Mountain View, CA

Team: Greg Patterson (President & CEO), Bill Albright (CFO)

Board of Directors: Greg Patterson (Xlumena), Tony Natale (Prism Venture Partners), Ken Binmoeller (Founder), Barr Dolan (Charter Venture Partners), Ken Hayes, Jason Hong (Third Point LLC), Eric Sillman (Aperture Venture Partners)


Acquisition by Actelion

Sale of privately held, specialty pharma company with FDA-approved orphan drug for early stage mycosis fungoides

Ceptaris Therapeutics Inc.

Sale of privately held, specialty pharmaceutical company with FDA-approved orphan drug for early stage mycosis fungoides

View Press Release

Ceptaris developed VALCHLOR™, a proprietary gel formulation of mechlorethamine for the treatment of early stage (IA and IB) mycosis fungoides, a type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). VALCHLOR was the first FDA-approved topical mechlorethamine product available to treat the signs and symptoms of this rare cancer.

A $25 million payment was made at signing, with FDA approval of VALCHLOR as a closing condition. VALCHLOR received FDA approval on August 26, 2013.

Aquilo managed a competitive process with multiple interested parties, augmented discussions between Actelion and Ceptaris, and assisted Ceptaris in evaluating and negotiating the merger agreement.

The transaction included a total of $250 million through closing, and additional payments based on net sales and/or the achievement of certain commercial milestones.

Acquisition Completed: September 2013

Location: Malvern, PA

Team: Stephen Tullman (Chairman & CEO), Tim Henkel (EVP, Head of R&D), Doug Gessl (COO & CFO)

Board of Directors: Stephen Tullman, Albert Cha, M.D., Ph.D., John Doux M.D., David Drahms, William Hamilton Ph.D.


Acquisition of Zoladex in US, CAN from AstraZeneca

Acquisition of marketed cancer therapuetic

TerSera Therapeutics

TerSera Therapeutics enters agreement with AstraZeneca for Zoladex in the US and Canada.

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TerSera Therapeutics entered into an agreement with AstraZeneca for the commercial rights to Zoladex (goserelin acetate implant) in the US and Canada. Zoladex is an injectable luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist, used to treat prostate cancer, breast cancer and certain benign gynaecological disorders. It was first approved in the US and Canada in 1989. Zoladex had 2016 product sales of $69 million in the US and Canada and $816 million globally. TerSera will pay AstraZeneca $250 million upon completion. AstraZeneca will also receive sales-related income through milestones totaling up to $70 million, as well as recurring quarterly sales-based payments at mid-teen percent of product sales. AstraZeneca will also manufacture and supply Zoladex to TerSera and will continue to commercialize Zoladex in all markets outside the US and Canada.

Aquilo Partners worked with TerSera to identify and execute the acquisition of Zoladex.


Acquisition of Performance Optics

Purchase of privately held ophthalmic lens manufacturer

HOYA Corporation

Buyside representation on the acquisition of leading global eyeglass lens manufacturing company.

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Ophthalmic eyewear lenses is the largest business unit in HOYA’s Life Care segment
The acquisition strengthens HOYA’s ability to provide customers with a broader portfolio of leading products, while continuing to provide best-in-class services to the eyewear industry.

Aquilo coordinated with the senior HOYA management team and legal and accounting advisors to structure and negotiate the transaction, provided financial analysis support, and helped manage cross-border diligence and the deal process.

Aquilo worked closely with HOYA leadership in Asia, Europe and the US.

Acquisition Completed: August 2017

Closing: August 2017

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Team: Hiroshi Suzuki (President & CEO), Ryo Hirooka (CFO), Girts Cimermans (Vision Care Company President), Augustine Yee (Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Development and Affairs)


Purchase of SPL

Acquisition of privately held manufacturer and supplier of heparin

Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

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Buy-side representation of Hepalink in the acquisition of privately held Scientific Protein Laboratories, LLC (“SPL”) for US$337.5 million in cash plus certain contingent payments.
Aquilo worked closely with Hepalink’s US-based business development subsidiary and with the company’s senior leadership in China, providing valuation and structure advisory, as well as cross border diligence and deal process coordination.

The acquisition of SPL allows Hepalink to expand its presence as a leading worldwide supplier of heparin, and provides the combined company with greater product development and growth opportunities in new markets.

Acquisition Completed: April 2014

Location: Shenzhen, China

Team: Li Li (Chairman & CEO), Haihua Bu, Bruce Wendel, Gary Doten


Whether it is a targeted transaction or a comprehensive search for acquisition targets, Aquilo Partners aids our clients by providing thoughtful and relevant advice throughout the deal process.

We understand the importance of analysis and internal committees for buyers. Aquilo provides comprehensive advisory across all phases of the deal – from identification of targets, to negotiation of terms, to modeling and integration analysis – enabling our buy-side clients to make the right decisions.


Private Placement & Strategic Advisory

Aquilo Partners tailors each financing outreach to the needs of the client’s management and shareholders – because every situation is unique and not all investors are created equal.

Our process enables management to maintain its focus on execution and creating credible alternatives forward – essential elements to maintaining leverage in a financing process.


Series A Financing Strategic Advisor to Nuvation Bio

Financial advisory services to Nuvation related to the formation and Series A financing

Financing for leading aerosol drug delivery company


Series C Preferred Stock

Financing for neurology focused specialty pharma company

NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Financing of specialty pharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular and CNS diseases

Funding will be used to:

  • Commercialize recently launched NEXICLON™XR for the treatment of hypertension
  • Expand the CNS portfolio
  • Prepare for the introduction of a novel extended-release liquid methylphenidate for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), currently under review by the FDA

Closing: January 2011

Location: Cupertino, CA

Team: Jay P. Shepard (President & CEO), Craig Chambliss (SVP & CBO)

New Investors: Bay City Capital, Panorama Capital, Kearny Venture Partners

Existing Investors: Aisling Capital, Fidelity Biosciences, Sofinnova Ventures, Vivo Ventures

Board of Directors: Jay P. Shepard, Gaurav Aggarwal, Robert Casale, Steve Elms, Hingge Hsu, Frank Kung, Anand Mehra, Dayton Misfeldt, Patrick J. Zenner



Ex-US Partnership with Santen

Licensing agreement and equity investment for ex-US rights of jCell for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa

Strategic Investment and Partnership with IQVIA

Financing and collaboration agreement for genomic data company


Partnership with Astellas

License and commercialization agreement for WW rights to clinical-stage oncology candidate

Medivation, Inc. (Nasdaq: MDVN)

Global partnership with Astellas for XTANDI

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Medivation was developing enzalutamide, a novel, oral anti-androgen drug candidate for prostate cancer. After a successful Phase 2 trial, Medivation advanced the drug into a pivotal Phase 3 trial in September 2009.

Aquilo assisted Medivation throughout the enzalutamide partnering process, introducing potential strategic partners and helping the company evaluate the financial, strategic and corporate governance aspects of potential partnerships.

The economic aspects of the deal with Astellas include $110 million upfront payment, up to $335 million of development milestones, up to $320 million of commercial milestones, a 50/50 split of US profits, and tiered double-digit royalties on ex-US sales.

When Phase 3 data was released it drove an $800 million increase in market cap for Medivation, and Astellas’ market cap increased by $500 million that same day.

XTANDI (enzalutamide) was approved in the US in August 2012 and commercially available in September 2012.

From the date of the announcement of the global partnership with Astellas until the commercial launch in September 2012, the market cap of Medivation increased by $3.0 billion.

Definitive Agreement: October 2009

Closing: October 2009

Location: San Francisco, CA

Team: David Hung (CEO), Patrick Machado (CFO)

Aquilo is a leader in structuring and negotiating licensing deals across all stages of development, where the expertise to advise on economic and non-economic terms of risk-sharing is critical