Michael J. Lerner Partner

New Jersey
T 973.597.6394 | F 973.597.6395

Chair, Life Sciences Group

Michael J. Lerner, Chair of Lowenstein Sandler's Life Sciences Group, has been advising pharmaceutical, life sciences and healthcare companies on key strategic matters for over 30 years, both as in house counsel and outside legal and business advisor. He also is a member of the firm’s Corporate Department and Tech Group.

Michael’s life sciences and healthcare clients include public and private pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and other health care companies, as well as investment banks and investors to the companies. He has extensive pharmaceutical industry experience, encompassing pharmaceutical product acquisitions and divestitures, technology licensing, pharmaceutical sales and marketing practices, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, corporate compliance, employment law and regulatory matters. Importantly, he understands the interplay of all of these factors and how to manage them effectively to get deals done.

Clients rely on Michael for comprehensive legal, strategic and business insights, because he has experienced their challenges first hand. He served for six years as Vice President and General Counsel at Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc., helping it grow into one of the nation's largest privately held pharmaceutical companies before it was acquired by GSK in 2007. As part of the senior management team, Michael led legal affairs, human resources and corporate compliance, and was lead inside lawyer on product acquisitions and dispositions totaling in excess of $650 million. He also helped the company raise more than $660 million in equity and debt. Michael subsequently served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of EKR Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on acute care hospital products.

Earlier in his career, Michael was at the law firm of Gibbons PC for 17 years, the last five of which he was partner in charge of the pharmaceutical and life sciences practice, representing start-ups, specialty and large pharmaceutical and other healthcare-related companies in corporate, partnering and licensing matters.

Michael currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for the Study of Pharmaceutical Management Issues, which is part of Rutgers Graduate School of Business in New Jersey.

Representative Engagements

Represented Cranford Pharmaceuticals, LLC in its sale of Inderal® XL to ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANIP).
Represented Holmdel Pharmaceuticals in its sale of InnoPran® XL to ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANIP)
Represented Metuchen Pharmaceuticals LLC in their license agreement with VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) for exclusive rights to commercialize STENDRA® (avanafil) in the U.S., Canada, South America and India.
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Other Distinctions

  • LMG Life Sciences (2011-2014) – Named “Life Science Star” three years in a row


Changes on the Horizon for Clinical Research and Drug and Device Development: 21st Century Cures Act Becomes Law
Life Sciences Client Alert, December 14, 2016
Michael Lerner, Tara D'Orsi, James Shehan

Press Mentions

Lowenstein Sandler represented Matawan Pharmaceuticals LLC in the sale of Retin-A® (tretinoin) to Perrigo Company plc (“Perrigo”) (NYSE: PRGO; TASE). Generic and brand sales of Retin-A®, a topical treatment for acne vulgaris, were valued at approximately $290 million for the 12-month period ending November 2015. The Lowenstein deal team was led by Michael Lerner and included Nick Mehler, Sam KhanNick Samedi and Robert Bee. , January 25, 2016
Lowenstein Sandler co-represented Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCRX) in its lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pacira Pharmaceuticals filed a lawsuit against the agency earlier this year to address an FDA warning letter regarding the anesthetic non-opioid drug Exparel. Although the label authorized specific doses for certain operations, the FDA had approved Exparel with a broad indication, and Pacira promoted the drug accordingly. We successfully argued in the lawsuit that Pacira has a First Amendment right to promote Exparel in accordance with the FDA-approved broad indication. Pacira and the FDA came to an amicable resolution agreement on the marketing of Exparel, and the FDA withdrew its warning letter. Pacira was also represented by Ropes & Gray LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP. The Lowenstein deal team was led by Michael Lerner, Maureen Ruane, and Joseph Fischetti. , December 15, 2015
Lowenstein Sandler represented Emisphere Technologies, Inc. in their development and license agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S, a global healthcare company that focuses on the development of products to benefit people with diabetes and other serious chronic conditions. Novo Nordisk A/S will develop and commercialize oral formulations of four classes of investigational molecules targeting major metabolic disorders, specifically diabetes and obesity, using Emisphere's oral Eligen® Technology. Terms of the agreement grant Novo Nordisk the exclusive right to develop potential product candidates in three molecule classes through Emisphere’s licensing, and the non-exclusive right to develop potential product candidates in a fourth molecule class, using the Eligen® Technology. The Lowenstein deal team included Michael J. LernerIrina Ishak and Herschel S. Weinstein. , October 15, 2015
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Related Areas

Capital Markets & Securities
Life Sciences
Mergers & Acquisitions
The Tech Group
Transactions & Advisory Group
Venture Capital, Angel Investing, and M&A


Hofstra University School of Law ( J.D. , 1983 )
Boston University ( B.A. , 1980 ) , Business Administration, cum laude

Bar Admissions

New Jersey
District of Columbia