RARE Daily

BridgeBio Secures Up to $750 Million in Debt Financing to Advance Rare Disease Pipeline

November 18, 2021

BridgeBio Pharma, a company founded to advance transformative medicines to treat patients who suffer from genetic diseases and cancers with clear genetic drivers, said it has executed a definitive credit facility agreement with a syndicate of lenders for up to $750 million in financing.

Photo: Brian Stephenson, chief financial officer of BridgeBio

Combined with the company’s existing cash balance, the five-year credit facility provides access to more than $1.2 billion to advance the company’s 30-plus pipeline programs, support commercialization efforts, and enable the pursuit of strategic business development opportunities.

As structured, the financing is expected to fully fund BridgeBio’s portfolio of more than 30 drug development and discovery programs into 2024, independent of near-term milestone readouts. It is a significant achievement in BridgeBio’s broader efforts to attract diverse sources of capital to fund life science innovation and is aligned with its long-term strategy of creating non-dilutive financing pathways that leverage portfolio readouts—in addition to cash balance on hand—to extend runway.

The new credit facility replaces BridgeBio’s existing $100 million debt facility with Hercules. It also follows the company’s repurchase of $150 million in its own common stock. Collectively, these transactions represent a strategic recapitalization of the company ahead of upcoming clinical data readouts, BridgeBio says.

“We are grateful to have the support of debt investors who are committed to helping us build the next great genetic medicine company and deliver meaningful therapies for patients in need. Since our founding, we have believed in the power and importance of innovative financing approaches to advance critical biomedical research and drug development, and we are grateful that our broad diversified pipeline enables us to do this. By bringing on this additional capital, we have the potential to help more people living with genetic diseases and cancers as quickly as possible,” said Brian Stephenson, chief financial officer of BridgeBio.

Key features of the credit facility include: $450.0 million funded on November 17, 2021; and an additional $300.0 million to be funded at the company’s option following either positive topline results from Part A of its phase 3 trial of TTR stabilizer for transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM), which is expected by the end of the year, or positive proof-of-concept data for various pipeline programs by year end 2022, with $100.0 million available upon each proof-of-concept, for up to three pipeline programs. The facility has a fixed interest rate of 9 percent, with 3 percent eligible at the company’s discretion to be paid in kind and added to principal; a maturity date of November 17, 2026; interest-only period for three years, which may be extended to four years upon success of the Part A readout; substantial flexibility for future business development, M&A, share repurchases, and royalty transactions; and no financial covenants.

“Potential breakthrough medicines should never languish on the shelf because of a lack of funding,” said Andrew Lo, a BridgeBio co-founder and a member of the company’s board of directors. “By seizing inventive financing tools to fund its growing R&D pipeline, BridgeBio is working to ensure that promising medicines in development can advance into the clinic and toward potential commercial approval.”

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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