Royalty Pharma has acquired a royalty interest in Amgen’s olpasiran from Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals for $250 million in cash upfront plus up to $160 million in additional payments contingent on the achievement of certain clinical, regulatory, and sales milestones.
Olpasiran is a small interfering RNA (siRNA) originally developed by Arrowhead using its proprietary Targeted RNAi Molecule, or TRiM, platform and licensed to Amgen in 2016. It is designed to lower levels of lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), a genetically-determined independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and is entering a Phase 3 cardiovascular outcomes study to determine whether treatment with olpasiran can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and high levels of Lp(a).
Phase 2 study results from the OCEAN(a)-DOSE study were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022, where olpasiran demonstrated a significant and sustained reduction in Lp(a) levels over 36 weeks. These data were simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“We are delighted to partner with Arrowhead, a leader in RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, to help them achieve their strategic objectives and fund their attractive pipeline,” said Pablo Legorreta, Royalty Pharma’s founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death worldwide despite certain treatment advances, and new therapeutic targets are greatly needed. Olpasiran is a promising late-stage treatment approach with the potential to lower lipoprotein(a), and this agreement is consistent with our strategy of acquiring innovative therapies in areas of high unmet patient need.”
“We are pleased to reach this agreement with Royalty Pharma, which is recognized as a leader in funding innovation across life sciences,” said Chris Anzalone, Ph.D., Arrowhead’s president and Chief Executive Officer. “Olpasiran, which we developed and licensed to Amgen for further clinical development and commercialization, has the potential to benefit millions of patients worldwide by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The early monetization of this potential royalty stream validates olpasiran’s significant potential and enables us to continue to invest in our TRiM platform and our diverse and growing pipeline of RNAi therapeutic candidates.”
Royalty Pharma is acquiring Arrowhead’s entire royalty interest in olpasiran, which is a royalty up to the low double digits on worldwide net sales. Arrowhead will retain rights to the $400 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments potentially due from Amgen.