RARE Daily

Ionis and Royalty Pharma enter agreement for up to $1.1 Billion for Stakes in Two Antisense Therapies

January 10, 2023

Ionis Pharmaceuticals entered into an agreement to sell Royalty Pharma an interest in Ionis’ royalty in Biogen’s approved spinal muscular atrophy antisense therapy Spinraza and Novartis’ experimental cardiovascular disease antisense therapy pelacarsen for an upfront payment of $500 million and up to $625 million in additional milestone payments for pelacarsen.

Photo: Brett Monia, CEO of Ionis

Spinraza is the first approved therapy for SMA. Biogen licensed Spinraza from Ionis in 2016. Pelacarsen is a potentially first-in-class treatment specifically targeting elevated lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), an independent, inherited, and causal risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Novartis licensed pelacarsen from Ionis in 2019.

“This transaction provides us with significant capital to reach our strategic objectives, the first of which is to achieve commercial readiness for our late-stage programs eplontersen, olezarsen and donidalorsen. It also enables us to further advance our deep and innovative pipeline so that we can continue to deliver a steady cadence of new genetic medicines to the market,” said Brett Monia, CEO of Ionis. “Royalty Pharma’s investment underscores their confidence in Spinraza’s resilience as an important therapy for the treatment of SMA. It also demonstrates their belief in pelacarsen’s potential to be a first-in-class treatment for Lp(a)-driven cardiovascular disease, representing a multibillion-dollar commercial opportunity.”

Monia noted that Ionis retains a majority interest in Spinraza and pelacarsen royalties, which will allow it to benefit from the potential commercial upside of both products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Royalty Pharma will receive 25 percent of Ionis’ Spinraza royalty payments through 2027, increasing to 45 percent of royalty payments in 2028, on up to $1.5 billion in annual sales. Royalty Pharma’s royalty interest in Spinraza will revert to Ionis after total Spinraza royalty payments reach either $475 million or $550 million, depending on the timing and occurrence of certain events. Royalty Pharma will also receive 25 percent of Ionis’ pelacarsen royalty payments.

Ionis, through its exclusive licensing agreement with Biogen, is entitled to tiered royalties up to the mid-teens on annual worldwide net sales of Spinraza. Its exclusive license agreement with Novartis entitles it to receive tiered royalties in the mid-teens to low 20 percent range on net sales of pelacarsen. Ionis also retains all rights to $650 million in pelacarsen development, regulatory, and commercial milestones from Novartis.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

Stay Connected

Sign up for updates straight to your inbox.