Gene therapy biotech uses its manufacturing sites as collateral to net a $100M loan
Gene therapy biotech MeiraGTx is looking to get some quick cash and is putting up its manufacturing facilities to do it.
On Wednesday the company announced that it had clinched a loan with affiliates of Perceptive Advisors for up to $100 million, with the biotech getting $75 million upon closing.
According to CEO Alexandria Forbes, the biotech secured the capital by putting up its manufacturing facilities for collateral, which will extend the company’s cash runway for the next two years and into Q4 of 2024. The Sam Waksal-founded biotech intends to use the cash primarily to continue development of its pipeline, preclinical programs and technology platforms.
“In this market environment where the cost of equity capital remains high, our wholly owned manufacturing facilities enable us to finance the Company through the achievement of significant milestones such as advancing our Phase III Lumeos clinical trial of botaretigene sparoparvovec (AAV-RPGR) for the treatment of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa to BLA filing, which is fully funded by our partner Janssen,” Forbes said in a statement.
Forbes also detailed that the agreement enables the company to fully retain its pipeline programs and its genetic medicine platforms.
According to the company, it holds around 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space in both London and Shannon, Ireland. Their sites contain cell expansion, bulk production virus and downstream purification suites, fill and finish and quality control laboratories and its certified viral vector manufacturing facility, which is in London. Both sites employ around 180 people.
The term loan agreement will have the biotech net an immediate $75 million and it can request an additional $25 million within the next two years. The credit facility is interest-only for four years, with a maturity date of Aug. 2, 2026, when the principal will be due. The company has also issued Perceptive Advisors 400,000 ordinary shares, with a per share price of $15. Perceptive can option into another 300,000 shares at $20 apiece as well.
MeiraGTx was riding high a few years ago, securing some major partnerships with J&J in 2019. The pharma giant paid $100 million in cash upfront for a deal and is putting another $340 million on the table in milestones for its gene therapy portfolio and eventually acquired Hemera Biosciences in 2020 as both looked to go after Biogen’s gene therapy treatments.