Blackstone and Alnylam Enter into $2 Billion Collaboration
Blackstone and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals have entered into a broad strategic collaboration under which Blackstone will provide up to $2 billion to support Alnylam’s advancement of innovative RNA interference (RNAi) medicines that have the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from a range of debilitating diseases.
The deal is anchored by Blackstone’s purchase of 50 percent 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.
Strategic Financing Collaboration
The strategic financing collaboration, led by Blackstone Life Sciences and GSO Capital Partners (“GSO”), 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 rapidly advancing product portfolio. The investment by multiple Blackstone businesses will support the development and delivery of promising medicines to the patients who need them and is one of the largest ever private financings of a biotech company.
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 transaction 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.
“Alnylam is focused on building a top-tier biopharmaceutical company, advancing RNAi therapeutics as a whole new class of medicines with transformative potential for patients around the world. This exciting new relationship with Blackstone brings us much closer to that goal, securing our bridge towards a self-sustainable financial profile that we believe can now be achieved without any need for Alnylam to access the equity markets in the future,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam.
“A central component of this strategic relationship is a partial monetisation of our royalty for inclisiran. If approved, we believe this therapy holds enormous promise as a potential game-changer in hypercholesterolemia management. We are pleased to retain half of the royalties we receive from Novartis, allowing Alnylam to benefit from inclisiran’s anticipated future success. We couldn’t be more pleased to enter into this highly innovative arrangement with Blackstone, which has shown a significant commitment to Alnylam’s future and alignment with our long-term vision.”
“Blackstone is uniquely positioned to provide customised, one-stop-shop financing solutions at scale while establishing development collaborations with the world’s leading biotech companies. Alnylam’s RNAi technology represents one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug development today, and aligns perfectly with our investment strategy,” said Nicholas Galakatos, Ph.D., Global Head of Blackstone Life Sciences. “Our collaboration with Alnylam provides non-dilutive access to capital to advance important new medicines in development across several disease indications including heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. and globally.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Blackstone Life Sciences to provide a customised solution for Alnylam, whose approved therapies provide important new options for patients,” said Dwight Scott, Global Head of GSO. “GSO’s capital will support Alnylam during a period of global growth as it continues to launch its medicines and pursue innovative RNAi approaches to bring new therapies to market and ultimately to patients around the globe.”
Alnylam, an existing tenant of Blackstone Real Estate company BioMed Realty, is also in discussions with BioMed to expand its footprint in Cambridge, MA.