The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and Sagard Healthcare Royalty Partners announced today that the University has sold to SHRP a portion of its royalty interest in a novel cancer drug, marketed as Rubraca, for a cash payment of US $31 million.
Rubraca belongs to an emerging class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors and was developed through a research collaboration between Newcastle University, Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Research Technology Limited (formerly known as Cancer Research Campaign Technology Limited), and Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc.). The commercialization rights were subsequently licensed to Clovis Oncology, Inc., which successfully developed Rubraca through clinical trials.
Today, Rubraca is approved in both the United States and Europe for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy, and for the treatment of adult patients with deleterious BRCA mutation (germline and/or somatic)-associated epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies. Rubraca is also in development for additional indications including the treatment of metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer and bladder cancer.
The transaction is structured as an upfront payment from SHRP in exchange for 100% of the royalty entitlement up to an undisclosed cap, and then 15% of the entitlement thereafter. Newcastle University will use the proceeds of the transaction to support ongoing development of teaching and learning facilities for students across the University and to facilitate research.
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“We are thrilled to announce our first transaction as part of the Sagard Holdings team,” said David MacNaughtan, Partner and Head of SHRP. “Royalty monetization enables research-based institutions such as Newcastle University to accelerate returns on innovation and manage risk, and we are pleased to support the cycle of technology development.”
Professor Chris Day, President and Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, said: “The achievement of the Newcastle University team cannot be underestimated in taking this fundamental research into development and then into market as a cancer treatment. The success of this drug development shows how, as a University, we are making a positive impact on the lives of thousands of patients and tackling real world issues in the University. This feat now enables us to invest further into research and into the futures of thousands of students in developing teaching and learning facilities.”
SHRP, the royalty monetization business of Sagard Holdings, was launched in January 2019, and aims to be a premier investor in the life sciences sector. SHRP’s principal focus is on traditional royalty or credit-like investments, protected by strong intellectual property, which can generate attractive cash-yielding returns that are uncorrelated with public markets. Royalty-based transactions are increasingly pursued in the life sciences industry as a means of managing risk and accelerating the returns on innovation, and SHRP will bring its proven expertise to develop tailored solutions to help royalty holders maximize value.
“We’re ecstatic about the royalty team’s progress in such a short period of time,” said Adam Vigna, Chief Investment Officer of Sagard Holdings. “The ability to source a deep pipeline of opportunities and close an investment like this one in a competitive process within two months is testament to the quality of the team and the depth of their network, as well as Sagard Holdings’ ability to support and launch new strategies. We’re excited to officially add healthcare royalties and related investments to our suite of alternative asset strategies.”
MTS Health Partners, L.P. served as exclusive structuring and financial advisor and Covington & Burling LLP served as transactional counsel to Newcastle University. Ropes & Gray served as transactional counsel to SHRP.
Date: April 08, 2019