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OMERS acquires partial ONPATTRO royalty streams from Arbutus for US $20M

Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ: ABUS) has closed the sale of part of its royalty interest on future global net sales of ONPATTRO™ (patisiran), an RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic currently being sold by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) to OMERS.

Under the terms of the LNP license agreement with Alnylam for ONPATTRO, Arbutus is entitled to tiered royalty payments on net sales of Onpattro ranging from 1.00% – 2.33% after offsets, with the highest tier applicable to annual net sales above $500M. This royalty interest has been sold to OMERS, effective as of January 1, 2019, for US $20 million in gross proceeds before advisory fees. OMERS will retain this entitlement until it has received US $30 million in royalties, at which point 100% of the entitlement will revert to Arbutus.

In addition to this royalty from the Alnylam LNP license agreement, Arbutus is also entitled to a second, but lower, royalty interest on net sales of ONPATTRO originating from a settlement agreement and subsequent license agreement with Acuitas Therapeutics. The royalty from Acuitas is not part of the royalty sale to OMERS.

With its investment in ONPATTRO, OMERS is the second Canadian pension fund that ventured into drug royalty investment recently.

In May 2019, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s (CPPIB) acquired a portion of LifeArc’s royalty interests on worldwide sales of Keytruda®* (pembrolizumab), MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy, for approximately US $1.297 billion.

Roivant Sciences, Ltd, a portfolio company of SoftBank Vision Fund, is a major shareholder of Burnaby BC based Arbutus Biopharma.

Source: Private Capital Journal