Lowenstein Sandler hires former Celgene VP as head of life sciences transactions

Lowenstein Sandler has announced that Mary E Storella has joined the firm’s life sciences group as the group’s vice chair and head of life sciences transactions.

Storella will focus on mergers and acquisitions, early and late stage collaborations, licenses, options, co-development and co-commercialisation collaborations, clinical collaborations, and diagnostic collaborations in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and other industries.

Storella has over 15 years of experience supporting strategic life sciences transactions, most recently as vice president and senior counsel of corporate transactions at Celgene Corporation. There she led and supported a broad spectrum of deals, including the company’s USD67 billion sale to Bristol Myers Squibb, Celgene’s USD13.4 billion divestiture of Otezla to Amgen, the company’s USD9 billion acquisition of Juno Therapeutics, and its USD300 million acquisition of Delinia, Inc.

Prior to Celgene, Storella worked as both an attorney and executive director of business development at Merck, where she headed a transaction team on all aspects of licensing, partnerships, and acquisition opportunities. Representative transactions at Merck include Merck’s USD14.2 billion divestiture of its consumer care business to Bayer, its USD10 billion acquisition of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and the licensing of Phase III oncology product and collaboration with Endocyte.

“Mary has supported the biggest names in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries with innovative deal structures and creative solutions to their most urgent needs,” says Michael J Lerner, chair of the life sciences group. “This extensive in-house experience gives her a 360-degree perspective on not only licensing, partnering, and acquisitions, but also on the tax, corporate governance, and business development impacts of these and other complex transactions, and it adds to our already deep, industry-focused transactional capabilities.”

“Now more than ever, life sciences and biotech companies are at the forefront of developing innovative solutions in a rapidly changing landscape,” says Storella. “I look forward to working with Michael and the entire Lowenstein team as we guide the industry through the current challenges and beyond.”

Storella earned her JD from Pace University Law School and her BA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.