Cheston Larson is a partner in the firm’s North County San Diego office and serves as Chair of the office's Corporate Department and Emerging Companies Practice. Mr. Larson is also a Co-chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Industry Group. His practice covers a broad range of general corporate matters, including counseling public and privately-held companies as well as representing venture capital and investment banking firms in private and public financing transactions.
Mr. Larson advises clients on the formation of new businesses and their capital raising transactions, spanning the spectrum from angel and venture financings to IPOs, follow-on offerings, PIPEs and debt financing. He also regularly represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, corporate partnering transactions, licenses, strategic alliances and other exit strategies. Mr. Larson’s expertise also includes SEC disclosure and reporting requirements, Nasdaq and NYSE compliance and management compensation and equity incentive matters.
Mr. Larson routinely counsels clients in the life sciences, software, telecommunications, cleantech and other technology industries.
Mr. Larson was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013 as a recommended attorney in Securities / Capital Markets Law. In 2012, Mr. Larson was named a recommended attorney in the area of Venture Capital and Emerging Companies by The Legal 500 US and he is recognized among San Diego's top corporate attorneys by Super Lawyers and San Diego Magazine. In law school, Mr. Larson was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and worked for the US Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division as part of Harvard's Clinical Practice Program.
Mr. Larson’s experience includes over 100 venture financings, including the representation of:
- Cadence Pharmaceuticals, a hospital-focused biopharmaceutical company backed by Domain, Frazier Healthcare and Versant
- Orexigen Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on obesity, funded by Domain, Kleiner Perkins, Montreux, Morgenthaler and Sofinnova
- Elevation Pharmaceuticals, developing a COPD treatment, in financings with Canaan Partners, TPG, Care Capital and Novo Ventures
- SkinMedica, a specialty aesthetics company, funded by Apax Partners, Domain, Euclid SR, Health Care Ventures and Perseus-Soros
- Conatus Pharmaceuticals, developing therapies for liver disease and cancer, backed by Aberdare Ventures, Advent, Bay City Capital, Gilde Healthcare and MPM Capital
- MeLLmo, a software company developing mobile apps, backed by Sequoia Capital
Mr. Larson's selected IPO, public offering and PIPE experience includes advising:
- Issuers: Orexigen, Zogenix, Cadence, Somaxon, Santarus, CancerVax (MicroMet), EcoSoil
- Investment banks: Clovis Oncology, Optimer, ARIAD, Ardea, MannKind, ImmunoGen, Neurocrine, Trius, Arena, Isis, Seattle Genetics, Genoptix
- Investors: ACADIA, Aradigm, Auxilium, BioCryst, Chelsea, MicroMet, PharmAthene, Threshold, Synvista
Mr. Larson's merger, acquisition, divestiture or other exit experience includes representing:
- Elevation Pharmaceuticals in its sale to Sunovion for proceeds of up to US$430 million
- SkinMedica in its sale to Allergan for proceeds of up to US$350 million and related spinout of Colorescience
- Prometheus Laboratories in its sale to Nestle Health Sciences and earlier acquisition of Lotronex® from GlaxoSmithKline and cancer diagnostics from Rosetta Genomics
- Provide Commerce (proflowers.com) in its acquisitions of RedEnvelope.com and Shari’s Berries, and earlier US$477 million sale to Liberty Media Corp.
- Management of Bumble Bee Seafoods in a leveraged buyout from ConAgra Foods
- Conatus Pharmaceuticals’ acquisition of a subsidiary from Pfizer
- Proprius Pharmaceuticals’ sale to Cypress Biosciences
- Cadence Pharmaceuticals’ option to acquire Incline Therapeutics
- Vivendi Universal, in several M&A transactions involving internet music businesses, including MP3.com and EMusic
- Hitachi Home Electronics, in a variety of asset divestitures