- Olpasiran is an siRNA therapeutic being developed by Amgen to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Arrowhead retains rights to $400 million in development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments potentially due from Amgen from the 2016 out licensing agreement
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARWR) and Royalty Pharma plc (Nasdaq: RPRX) today announced that Royalty Pharma has acquired a royalty interest in Amgen’s olpasiran from Arrowhead for $250 million in cash upfront plus up to $160 million in additional payments contingent on the achievement of certain clinical, regulatory, and sales milestones.
Olpasiran is a small interfering RNA (siRNA) originally developed by Arrowhead using its proprietary Targeted RNAi Molecule, or TRiM™, platform and licensed to Amgen in 2016. It is designed to lower levels of lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), a genetically-determined independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and is entering a Phase 3 cardiovascular outcomes study to determine whether treatment with olpasiran can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and high levels of Lp(a). Phase 2 study results from the OCEAN(a)-DOSE study were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022, where olpasiran demonstrated a significant and sustained reduction in Lp(a) levels over 36 weeks. These data were simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 6, 2022.
“We are pleased to reach this agreement with Royalty Pharma, which is recognized as a leader in funding innovation across life sciences,” said Chris Anzalone, Ph.D., Arrowhead’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Olpasiran, which we developed and licensed to Amgen for further clinical development and commercialization, has the potential to benefit millions of patients worldwide by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The early monetization of this potential royalty stream validates olpasiran’s significant potential and enables us to continue to invest in our TRiM platform and our diverse and growing pipeline of RNAi therapeutic candidates.”
“We are delighted to partner with Arrowhead, a leader in RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, to help them achieve their strategic objectives and fund their attractive pipeline,” said Pablo Legorreta, Royalty Pharma’s founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death worldwide despite certain treatment advances, and new therapeutic targets are greatly needed. Olpasiran is a promising late-stage treatment approach with the potential to lower lipoprotein(a), and this agreement is consistent with our strategy of acquiring innovative therapies in areas of high unmet patient need.”
Royalty Pharma is acquiring Arrowhead’s entire royalty interest in olpasiran, which is a royalty up to the low double digits on worldwide net sales. Arrowhead will retain rights to the $400 million in development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments potentially due from Amgen.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher acted as legal advisor to Arrowhead. Goodwin Procter, Fenwick & West and Maiwald acted as legal advisors to Royalty Pharma.
About Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals develops medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Using a broad portfolio of RNA chemistries and efficient modes of delivery, Arrowhead therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce rapid, deep, and durable knockdown of target genes. RNA interference, or RNAi, is a mechanism present in living cells that inhibits the expression of a specific gene, thereby affecting the production of a specific protein. Arrowhead’s RNAi-based therapeutics leverage this natural pathway of gene silencing.
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About Royalty Pharma
Founded in 1996, Royalty Pharma is the largest buyer of biopharmaceutical royalties and a leading funder of innovation across the biopharmaceutical industry, collaborating with innovators from academic institutions, research hospitals and non-profits through small and mid-cap biotechnology companies to leading global pharmaceutical companies. Royalty Pharma has assembled a portfolio of royalties which entitles it to payments based directly on the top-line sales of many of the industry’s leading therapies. Royalty Pharma funds innovation in the biopharmaceutical industry both directly and indirectly - directly when it partners with companies to co-fund late-stage clinical trials and new product launches in exchange for future royalties, and indirectly when it acquires existing royalties from the original innovators. Royalty Pharma’s current portfolio includes royalties on more than 35 commercial products, including Vertex’s Trikafta, Kalydeco, Orkambi and Symdeko, Biogen’s Tysabri, AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson’s Imbruvica, Astellas and Pfizer’s Xtandi, GSK’s Trelegy, Novartis’ Promacta, Biohaven and Pfizer’s Nurtec ODT, Johnson & Johnson’s Tremfya, Roche’s Evrysdi, Gilead’s Trodelvy, and 13 development-stage product candidates.
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Source: Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Vince Anzalone, CFA
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