Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a Cambridge, MA-based RNAi therapeutics company, is to receive an up to $2 billion financing from Blackstone (NYSE: BX).
The package will support Alnylam’s advancement of innovative RNA interference (RNAi) medicines for patients suffering from a range of debilitating diseases including genetic, cardio-metabolic, hepatic infectious, and central nervous system (CNS)/ocular diseases. The deal is anchored by Blackstone’s purchase of 50 % of the royalties owed to Alnylam on global sales of inclisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Inclisiran is a twice-a-year, subcutaneously injected RNAi therapeutic that has been shown in a comprehensive Phase 3 program to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol with an acceptable safety profile. If approved, this medicine is expected to help patients lower LDL cholesterol, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality in the U.S. and globally.
The collaboration, led by Blackstone Life Sciences and GSO Capital Partners, Blackstone’s credit platform, is expected to enable Alnylam’s achievement of a self-sustainable financial profile without need for future equity financing, accelerating the commercial potential of Alnylam’s product portfolio. The transaction includes the inclisiran royalty monetization, corporate debt, purchase of Alnylam equity, and funding for certain R&D activities related to the clinical advancement of two Alnylam investigational RNAi therapeutic programs in cardiovascular disease.
Specifically, the deal is comprised of the following components:
– $1 billion in committed payments, led by Blackstone Life Sciences, to acquire 50 percent of Alnylam’s royalties and commercial milestones for inclisiran;
– Up to $750 million in a first lien senior secured term loan led by GSO;
– Up to $150 million from Blackstone Life Sciences for development of Alnylam’s cardiometabolic programs vutrisiran and ALN-AGT (to be established based upon a non-binding letter of intent);
– $100 million purchase of Alnylam common stock.
Founded in 2002 and led by John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Alnylam is an existing tenant of Blackstone Real Estate company BioMed Realty. Its commercial RNAi therapeutic products are ONPATTRO® (patisiran), approved in the U.S., EU, Canada, Japan, and Switzerland, and GIVLAARI® (givosiran), approved in the U.S and EU. The company has a deep pipeline of investigational medicines, including six product candidates that are in late-stage development. Alnylam employs over 1,300 people worldwide.