BioCryst Raises $350M to Support Orladeyo’s Global Launch

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by Margarida Maia PhD |

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BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has received funds worth $350 million that will be used in part to support the global launch of Orladeyo (berotralstat), an oral therapy to prevent hereditary angioedema (HAE) swelling attacks.

The money came through various transactions with Royalty Pharma, a global buyer of pharmaceutical royalties, and Omers Capital Markets, a defined benefit pension plans company in Canada.

“Almost a year into its launch, BioCryst has established Orladeyo as a leading HAE prophylactic [preventive] therapy,” Rob Missere, managing director and head of life sciences at Omers, said in a press release. “This investment provides direct exposure to a high-quality pharmaceutical asset.”

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Orladeyo works by decreasing the activity of kallikrein — a protein that is overactive in HAE — and reducing the release of bradykinin, an inflammatory molecule that regulates blood pressure and inflammation by promoting blood vessel widening.

Its efficacy and safety were tested in several clinical trials. Data from these studies showed that the therapy was generally well-tolerated while sustainably reducing the frequency of swelling attacks in HAE patients and improving their quality of life.

It was approved in the U.S. for use in adults and children, ages 12 and older, at the end of 2020, and in Europe and Japan earlier this year as an oral capsule of 150 mg to be taken once daily with food.

This cash flow will also allow the company to advance its oral factor D inhibitor, BCX9930, which is now in clinical trials in people with a rare blood disorder called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, the company reported on a webpage, and to expand its development and testing across other complement-mediated disorders.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with BioCryst to continue to support their growth journey,” said Pablo Legorreta, founder and chief executive officer of Royalty Pharma. “Following our initial investment nearly one year ago, Orladeyo has proven to be a transformative therapy for HAE patients.”

In return, investors leading the funding will be entitled to receive a percentage of future product sales.

“The infusion of $350 million on top of our growing revenue base from Orladeyo, and our existing cash, enables us to invest now to maximize the value of our oral Factor D program and Orladeyo,” said Jon Stonehouse, BioCryst’s CEO. “We appreciate the confidence our partners are demonstrating in BioCryst with this financing as we continue to bring oral medicines to patients with rare diseases.”