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Royalty Pharma and Ionis enter into Royalty Agreement for up to $1.1 Billion to further advance Ionis´ genetic medicines and commercial

• Royalty Pharma to acquire an interest in SPINRAZA® and pelacarsen royalties – Ionis retains majority of royalties and all milestones from Novartis for pelacarsen

• Royalty Pharma to pay Ionis $500 million upfront and up to $625 million in milestones

• Agreement enables Ionis to achieve commercial readiness for multiple late-stage programs and advance its innovative pipeline of genetic medicines

NEW YORK, NY, and CARLSBAD, CA, January 9, 2023 – Royalty Pharma plc (Nasdaq: RPRX) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IONS) today announced that Royalty Pharma has acquired an interest in Ionis’ royalty in Biogen’s SPINRAZA® (nusinersen) and Novartis’ pelacarsen for up to $1.125 billion, including an upfront payment of $500 million and up to $625 million in additional pelacarsen milestone payments.

SPINRAZA is the global foundation of care for the treatment of people living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Biogen licensed SPINRAZA from Ionis in 2016. Pelacarsen is a potentially first-in-class treatment specifically targeting elevated lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), an independent, inherited, and causal risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Novartis licensed pelacarsen from Ionis in 2019.

“This transaction provides us with significant capital to reach our strategic objectives, the first of which is to achieve commercial readiness for our late-stage programs eplontersen, olezarsen and donidalorsen. It also enables us to further advance our deep and innovative pipeline so that we can continue to deliver a steady cadence of new genetic medicines to the market,” said Brett P. Monia, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Ionis. “Royalty Pharma’s investment underscores their confidence in SPINRAZA’s resilience as an important therapy for the treatment of SMA. It also demonstrates their belief in pelacarsen’s potential to be a first-in-class treatment for Lp(a)-driven cardiovascular disease, representing a multibillion-dollar commercial opportunity. Furthermore, because Ionis retains a majority interest in SPINRAZA and pelacarsen royalties, we maintain our ability to benefit significantly from the potential commercial upside of both products.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Ionis, an innovator in genetic medicine. This investment is consistent with our strategy of acquiring royalties on innovative therapies in areas of high unmet patient need,” said Pablo Legorreta, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Royalty Pharma. “SPINRAZA has transformed the lives of thousands of SMA patients. We are also excited to acquire a royalty on pelacarsen which, if approved, has the potential to be a practice-changing, first-in-class therapy benefiting millions of cardiovascular disease patients by lowering Lp(a).”

Under the terms of the monetization transaction, Royalty Pharma will receive:

• 25% of Ionis’ SPINRAZA royalty payments through 2027, increasing to 45% of royalty payments in 2028, on up to $1.5 billion in annual sales. Royalty Pharma’s royalty interest in SPINRAZA will revert to Ionis after total SPINRAZA royalty payments reach either $475 million or $550 million, depending on the timing and occurrence of certain events; and

• 25% of Ionis’ pelacarsen royalty payments.

Under the terms of Ionis’ exclusive licensing agreement with Biogen, Ionis is entitled to tiered royalties up to the mid-teens on annual worldwide net sales of SPINRAZA. Ionis’ exclusive license agreement with Novartis entitles Ionis to receive tiered royalties in the mid-teens to low 20% range on net sales of pelacarsen. Ionis also retains all rights to $650 million in pelacarsen development, regulatory and commercial milestones from Novartis.

Additional information regarding the monetization agreement is available in a Current Report on Form 8-K Ionis filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Goodwin Procter, Fenwick & West and Maiwald acted as legal advisors to Royalty Pharma. Cowen acted as financial advisor to Ionis and Cooley acted as its legal advisor.


This text is a press release from Royalty Pharma. The full text version of the article can be found here.