Pablo Legorreta, Royalty Pharma CEO (Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

BioCryst gets mas­sive cash in­fu­sion to the tune of $350M, thanks to old and new in­vestors

BioCryst is fill­ing its cof­fers again — this time in $350 mil­lion cash with the help of both old and new in­vestors.

The Durham, NC biotech re­port­ed this morn­ing that it inked yet an­oth­er deal along­side a fa­mil­iar name — Roy­al­ty Phar­ma for $200 mil­lion. Roy­al­ty was the same com­pa­ny that paid $125 mil­lion to BioCryst $BCRX last year in ex­change for prof­its from the then-re­cent­ly ap­proved oral HAE drug Or­ladeyo.

And Cana­di­an in­sti­tu­tion­al in­vestor OMERS — the one in charge of all lo­cal gov­ern­ment pen­sions in On­tario, CA — al­so signed up for $150 mil­lion up­front.

The cash flow will help ad­vance an­oth­er drug in BioCryst’s pipeline — oral Fac­tor D in­hibitor BCX9930 — to­ward fil­ing for reg­is­tra­tion and ex­pand de­vel­op­ment to mul­ti­ple undis­closed in­di­ca­tions.

And of course, it will help in­vest some more in­to Or­ladeyo’s glob­al launch af­ter it got ap­proved by the FDA last De­cem­ber.

Jon Stone­house

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the con­fi­dence our part­ners are demon­strat­ing in BioCryst with this fi­nanc­ing as we con­tin­ue to bring oral med­i­cines to pa­tients with rare dis­eases,” said BioCryst CEO Jon Stone­house in a pre­pared state­ment.

Here’s how the $350 mil­lion is bro­ken down:

Roy­al­ty Phar­ma signed up for $200 mil­lion — $150 mil­lion up­front as cash in ex­change for roy­al­ties on three of BioCryst’s drugs: BCX9930, an un­named, ear­li­er stage Fac­tor D in­hibitor and Or­ladeyo.

The roy­al­ties on the Fac­tor D in­hibitors are 3.0% on sales up to $1.5 bil­lion and 2.0% on sales be­tween $1.5 bil­lion and the cap of $3.0 bil­lion.

Roy­al­ty Phar­ma al­so now owns roy­al­ties of 0.75% on di­rect an­nu­al net sales of Or­ladeyo up to $350 mil­lion, and ex­pand­ed to 1.75% on sales be­tween $350 mil­lion and the max of $550 mil­lion. The deal al­so adds a tiered, de­clin­ing per­cent­age on Or­ladeyo sub­li­cense rev­enue in cer­tain ter­ri­to­ries.

These roy­al­ties are ad­di­tion­al to the roy­al­ties pur­chased by Roy­al­ty Phar­ma last De­cem­ber.

Roy­al­ty Phar­ma al­so ex­tend­ed the deal with BioCryst with a $50 mil­lion eq­ui­ty in­vest­ment at a price of $13.00 per share, the av­er­age price of BioCryst’s com­mon stock over the last 20 days.

“We are ex­cit­ed to ex­pand our part­ner­ship with BioCryst to con­tin­ue to sup­port their growth jour­ney,” said Roy­al­ty Phar­ma founder and CEO Pablo Legor­re­ta.

Now it’s OMERS’ turn. In ex­change for $150 mil­lion in cash, OMERS bought capped and tiered roy­al­ties for an­nu­al net sales of Or­ladeyo. BioCryst won’t owe OMERS any roy­al­ties for the first two years — leav­ing the first roy­al­ty pay­ment to OMERS for Q4 2023.

And since the roy­al­ties are capped, no more roy­al­ties will be paid out to OMERS once it gets its max­i­mum to­tal re­turn, ac­cord­ing to a BioCryst state­ment.

OMERS will re­ceive a roy­al­ty of at least 7.5% on an­nu­al net sales up to $350 mil­lion, and 6.0% on sales be­tween $350 mil­lion and the max of $550 mil­lion.

IDC: Life Sci­ences Firms Must Em­brace Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion Now

Pre-pandemic, the life sciences industry had settled into a pattern. The average drug took 12 years and $2.9 billion to bring to market, and it was an acceptable mode of operations, according to Nimita Limaye, Research Vice President for Life Sciences R&D Strategy and Technology at IDC.

COVID-19 changed that, and served as a proof-of-concept for how technology can truly help life sciences companies succeed and grow, Limaye said. She recently spoke about industry trends at Egnyte’s Life Sciences Summit 2022. You should watch the entire session, free and on-demand, but here’s a brief recap of why she’s urging life sciences companies to embrace digital transformation.

Tom Barnes, Orna Therapeutics CEO

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Merck went in deep on its collaboration with Moderna on new mRNA programs, and dropped them all over time, including their RSV partnership. But after writing off what turned out as one of the most successful infectious disease players in the business, Merck is coming in this morning with a new preclinical alliance — this time embracing a biotech that hopes to eventually outdo the famously successful mRNA in a new run at vaccines and therapeutics.

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Bayer's first DTC ad campaign for chronic kidney disease drug Kerendia spells out its benefits

Bay­er aims to sim­pli­fy the com­plex­i­ties of CKD with an ABC-themed ad cam­paign

Do you know the ABCs of CKD in T2D? Bayer’s first ad campaign for Kerendia tackles the complexity of chronic kidney disease with a play on the acronym (CKD) and its connection to type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Kerendia was approved last year as the first and only non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist to treat CKD in people with type 2 diabetes.

In the TV commercial launched this week, A is for awareness, B is for belief and C is for cardiovascular, explained in the ad as awareness of the connection between type 2 and kidney disease, belief that something can be done about it, and cardiovascular events that may be reduced with treatment.

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Mod­er­na taps new CFO from PerkinElmer af­ter for­mer one-day CFO oust­ed

When Moderna hired a new CFO last year,  it didn’t expect to see him gone after only one day. Today the biotech named his — likely much more vetted — replacement.

The mRNA company put out word early Wednesday that after the untimely departure of then brand-new CFO Jorge Gomez, it has now found a replacement in James Mock, the soon-to-be former CFO at diagnostics and analytics company PerkinElmer.

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Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division

GSK lands first-ever UNICEF con­tract for malar­ia vac­cine worth $170M

GSK has landed a new first from UNICEF the first-ever contract for malaria vaccines, worth up to $170 million for 18 million vaccine doses distributed over the next three years.

The vaccine, known as Mosquirix or RTS,S, won WHO’s backing last October after a controversial start, but UNICEF said these doses will potentially save thousands of lives every year.

“We hope this is just the beginning,” Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division, said. “Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase available supply, and enable a healthier vaccine market. This is a giant step forward in our collective efforts to save children’s lives and reduce the burden of malaria as part of wider malaria prevention and control programmes.”

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Venture capital firm Innovation Endeavors has mainly had its focus on investments across the tech space, but it has been slowly turning its attention to the biotech world. Now, a new partner is coming into the fold showing that its interest in biotech is likely to grow further.

The Silicon Valley-based company, which is headed up by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, has brought on Joel Dudley as a partner. According to Dudley’s LinkedIn page, he is joining Innovation Endeavors after serving as the chief science officer of biotech startup Tempus Labs from 2020.

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Joe Jonas (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

So­lo Jonas broth­er car­ries Merz's new tune in Botox ri­val cam­paign

As the lyrics of his band’s 2019 pop-rock single suggest, Joe Jonas is only human — and that means even he gets frown lines. The 33-year-old singer-songwriter is Merz’s newest celebrity brand partner for its Botox rival Xeomin, as medical aesthetics brands target a younger audience.

Merz kicked off its “Beauty on Your Terms” campaign on Tuesday, featuring the Jonas brother in a video ad for its double-filtered anti-wrinkle injection Xeomin.

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Paul Perreault, CSL Behring CEO

CSL CEO Paul Per­reault de­ter­mined to grow plas­ma col­lec­tion af­ter full-year sales dip

As the ink dries on CSL’s $11.7 billion Vifor buyout, the company posted a dip in profits, due in part to a drop in plasma donations amid the pandemic.

However, CEO Paul Perreault assured investors and analysts on the full-year call that the team has left “no stone unturned” when assessing options to grow plasma volumes. The chief executive also spelled out positive results for the company’s monoclonal antibody garadacimab in hereditary angioedema (HAE), though he isn’t revealing the exact numbers just yet.

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En­do files for Chap­ter 11 as it looks to fin­ish off its opi­oid lit­i­ga­tion

Irish drugmaker Endo International is entering into bankruptcy as it faces the weight of serious litigation related to its involvement in the opioid epidemic in the US.

The company has filed Chapter 11 proceedings in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, with the company expected to file recognition proceedings in Canada, the UK and Australia. The company’s bankruptcy filing showed the company had assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion.