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2022-07-01| Funding

Blueprint Medicines Gathers Up To $1.25 Billion in Loans and Investments for Research and Development

by Reed Slater
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Massachusetts-based Blueprint Medicines announced on June 30 that it is eligible for up to $1.25 billion in funding from Sixth Street Partners, its associated senior secured credit facility, and Royalty Pharma. Sixth Street will provide $250 million upfront for AYVAKIT/AYVAKYT and BLU-263 royalties, and Royalty Pharma will supply $175 million upfront in exchange for GAVRETO royalties. Blueprint will initially draw $150 million from the secured credit facility, providing the company with immediate access to $575 million to expand its research and development programs. 

 

Blueprint’s Multi-Part Deal With Sixth Street

 

As part of the deal with Sixth Street, Blueprint will provide 9.75% royalties on future sales of AYVAKIT/AYVAKYT and BLU-263 subject to an annual cap of $900 million in net sales and a cumulative cap of 1.45 times the invested capital. 

AYVAKIT/AYVAKYT is an FDA-approved treatment for advanced system mastocytosis (SM), a heterogeneous disease caused by an accumulation of neoplastic mast cells in the skin, bone marrow, and organs. Advanced SM can lead to organ impairment and potentially organ failure when activated. 

Blueprint’s 2021 Financial Report revealed that AYVAKIT/AYVAKYT accounted for $53 million in net product revenues. The company predicts that the drug could generate up to $130 million in revenue in 2022. 

BLU-263 is a drug candidate designed to treat indolent SM and is currently in clinical development. It is in a Phase 3 clinical trial with 443 participants and is expected to complete in August 2023. Though much more common, Indolent SM typically has a more favorable prognosis than advanced SM because the mast cells are less of a burden, resulting in a reduced risk of organ failure. 

In addition to the more traditional investment route, Sixth Street will provide Blueprint access to a senior secured credit facility to draw additional funds for research and development projects. The first part of the deal with the secured credit facility includes the hefty upfront payment with the potential for an added $250 million in delayed draw tranches upon Blueprint’s election. 

At a later date, subject to an agreement between Sixth Street and Blueprint, Blueprint may be entitled to $260 million from a credit facility to support buy-side business development opportunities. 

 

Related Article: ReCode Therapeutics’ Secures an Extra $120 Million To Support Its Drug Delivery Platform

 

GAVRETO Royalty Deal With Royalty Pharma

 

After co-developing GAVRETO, a non-small cell lung cancer and advanced thyroid cancer therapy, with Roche, the FDA approved the drug in 2020. Now, along with the upfront payment, Blueprint is eligible for an additional $165 million in milestone payments from Royalty Pharma in exchange for royalties of Roche’s net sales of GAVRETO outside of the US and Greater China. 

GAVRETO accounted for $14.5 million in revenue in 2021 and shows signs of growth in the coming years. In collaboration with Roche, Blueprint received conditional marketing authorization from the European Commission for GAVRETO, which could boost sales in the future. 

Founded in 2008, Blueprint has had a great run and shows no signs of slowing down, indicative of its ability to round up the potential $1.25 billion. With several drug candidates in development and even some undisclosed projects going on behind the scenes, Blueprint has some peace of mind going into the future with the most recent funding to keep the ball rolling for its research and development programs.

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