Biohaven raises USD 450 million for CGRP receptor antagonist franchise

August 16, 20200

Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, a US-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development and commercialization of therapies for neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, announced a strategic partnership with Royalty Pharma, a funder and buyer of innovations developed from academic institutions, small-to-medium-sized biopharmaceutical companies, research organizations, and hospitals.   

Under the partnership agreement, Biohaven secured a funding of USD 250 Million for the development of zavegepant, a small molecule Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) antagonist platform, indicated to relieve migraine by blocking the neurogenic inflammation and decreasing artery dilation thereby inhibiting pain transmission. In return, Royalty Pharma will receive up to 3% of the royalty for the drug and purchase the new, commercially launched preferred equity for a total of USD 200 Mn payable from 2021 to 2024. This transaction will allow Royalty Pharma to broaden the CGRP franchise into migraine adjacencies, non-migraine indications, and new formulations. Formerly known as vazegepant, the program includes an intranasal and oral pathway for the prevention of migraine and non-migraine indications. Royalty pharma will also receive milestone-based payments from Biohaven after its successful commercialization and worldwide sales, ranging between 0.6 to 2.95 times the investment, depending on approvals obtained by zavegepant, payable over ten years. The secured USD 250 Million will be paid in the form of USD 100 Million, at the inception of the Phase III trial and USD 150 Million, at the closure of the trial.  

The agreement also indicates support from Royalty Pharma in the launch of Nurtec™ ODT for 0.4% of royalty on its annual worldwide sales. In return, Biohaven will pay a series of equal, fixed payments to Royalty Pharma, over five years starting in 2025, with an approximate 12% rate of return. Nurtec ODT (rimegepant) is the first orally administered CGRP receptor antagonist indicated to treat acute migraine and has received FDA approval in February 2020. The tablet dosed at 75 mg has proven efficacious for up to 48 hours of administration (for a single dose).   

As mentioned in the press release by Mr. Vlad Coric, if approved, the intranasal zavegepant will be the first and only CGRP receptor antagonist available globally.   

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