Michael J. Lerner Partner and Chair, Life Sciences Group

New Jersey
T 973.597.6394 | F 973.597.6395

Michael provides strategic judgment and practical advice regarding diverse matters for pharmaceutical, life sciences, and health care companies. Clients–including public and private pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and other health care companies, as well as their investors and investment banks–value his extensive experience as both in-house counsel and outside legal and business advisor.

This background has contributed to Michael’s stellar record of successful outcomes in product acquisitions and divestitures, technology licensing, sales and marketing practices, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, corporate compliance, employment law, and regulatory matters. Importantly, he understands the interplay of all these factors and how to manage them effectively for the optimum completion of each transaction.

Prior to joining Lowenstein Sandler, Michael was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of EKR Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on acute care hospital products. That position followed six years as Vice President and General Counsel at Reliant Pharmaceuticals Inc., which Michael helped grow into one of the nation’s largest privately held pharmaceutical companies before it was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007. As part of Reliant’s senior management team, he was lead inside lawyer on product acquisitions and dispositions totaling in excess of $650 million, and helped the company raise more than $660 million in equity and debt.

Earlier in his career, Michael was partner in charge of the pharmaceutical and life sciences practice at a midsize law firm, representing startup, specialty, and large pharmaceutical and other health care-related companies in corporate, partnering, and licensing matters.

Michael serves on the board of directors of the Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for the Study of Pharmaceutical Management Issues at Rutgers Business School.

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, 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