RARE Daily

Blackstone Life Sciences Makes $350 Million Strategic Investment in Reata

June 11, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Blackstone Life Sciences will lead a $350 million royalty and equity investment in Reata Pharmaceuticals to fund the development and potential commercialization of its experimental therapy for rare kidney diseases.

The company is developing bardoxolone methyl, an experimental once-daily oral therapy that is being studied for chronic kidney disease in Alport syndrome, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, and other associated potential future indications for which there are no effective therapies approved in the United States.

Alport syndrome is a rare, genetic form of chronic kidney disease caused by mutations in the genes encoding type IV collagen, which is a major structural component of the glomerular basement membrane in the kidney. The majority of patients with Alport syndrome require dialysis or a kidney transplant by the age of 25.

Bardoxolone methyl is an experimental, oral, once-daily activator of Nrf2, a transcription factor that induces molecular pathways that promote the resolution of inflammation by restoring mitochondrial function, reducing oxidative stress, and inhibiting pro-inflammatory signaling.

“If approved, bardoxolone has the potential to provide for the first time a therapy that improves the quality of life for tens of thousands of patients around the world suffering from Alport syndrome,” said Nicholas Galakotos, global head of Blackstone Life Sciences.

The financing extends Reata’s cash runway through the end of 2023.

Under the terms of the deal, Blackstone will receive royalty payments on worldwide net sales of bardoxolone by Reata and its licensees, other than Kyowa Kirin. The financing also includes $50 million in an equity investment in Reata. Reata expects to receive the funds in two weeks.

In November 2019, Reata reported that the phase 3 portion of a study of bardoxolone in Alport syndrome patients with CKD met its primary endpoint of improved ability of the kidney to filter waste products out of the blood and a key secondary endpoint of retained improvement after 48 weeks of treatment and four weeks of drug withdrawal. The study is ongoing. Bardoxolone is also being studied as a treatment for autosomal polycystic kidney disease.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission have granted Orphan Drug designation to bardoxolone for the treatment of Alport syndrome.

“Bardoxolone has been a primary focus of our company’s research and development efforts to date,” said Warren Huff, president and CEO of Reata.

Photo: Warren Huff, president and CEO of Reata


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