CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioImpact Capital, an affiliate of MPM Capital (“MPM”), announced today that Orna Therapeutics (“Orna”), a portfolio company it created, incubated, and funded, has agreed to a landmark collaboration with one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. The collaboration, with a total transaction value worth up to $3.75 billion if specified joint goals are met, will cover multiple programs, including vaccines and treatments in infectious disease and oncology.
Orna was created by MPM and BioImpact Capital in 2019, based on groundbreaking research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company is focused on pioneering circular RNA, which can be used in multiple applications such as next generation vaccines. Circular RNA has shown greater stability than conventional linear mRNA and has the potential to produce larger quantities of therapeutic protein inside the body. Orna’s circular RNA technology, along with proprietary lipid nanoparticles (“LNPs”) from Orna and from Orna’s joint venture with RNA delivery company ReNAgade Therapeutics, has significant potential benefits for millions of patients with infectious disease, cancer and other illnesses.
Orna will receive $150 million in cash from a major global biopharmaceutical company under the terms of a collaboration agreement, up to an additional $3.5 billion associated with development, regulatory, and sales milestones, as well as royalties on approved products. Concurrently, Orna has announced a $221 million Series B financing, with the company valuation at over $1.5 billion. The UBS Oncology Impact Fund (“OIF”), managed by BioImpact Capital, is the largest shareholder of Orna.
BioImpact Capital is the investment manager of OIF as well as its successor fund, Oncology Impact Fund 2 (“OIF 2”). Combined, the two funds have attracted over $1.3 billion in capital, making them the largest biotech impact investment funds in history. A portion of the performance fees from both funds, and royalties from treatments developed by OIF start-up companies such as Orna, will be donated to the American Association for Cancer Research, to help fund grants for next-generation cancer research, and to philanthropic initiatives working to improve access to cancer care in the developing world.
Ansbert Gadicke, M.D., Chairman of the Board of Orna, Managing Partner of BioImpact Capital and MPM Managing Director, said: “We are proud to have built Orna with our team in our offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With a total transaction value of up to $3.75 billion plus royalties, we believe this is the largest transaction for a preclinical biotechnology company to date, which demonstrates the power of Orna’s platform.”
Tom Barnes, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Orna and Entrepreneur at BioImpact Capital and MPM, said: “We are thrilled to enter this collaboration with a company committed to breakthrough science, which has recognized the potential our platform can bring to patients. Our oRNA technology plus novel delivery solutions are designed to unlock the full potential of RNA in therapeutics and vaccines. The combined expertise of Orna and our partner aims to accelerate the development of RNA therapeutics for patients in need of better treatment options.”
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About BioImpact Capital
BioImpact Capital is a leading biotech impact investment manager that leverages its extensive company creation and clinical development experience, as well as its deep research and intellectual property expertise, to create and invest in private and public companies through clinical proof of concept. BioImpact Capital is an affiliate of MPM Capital, which has shepherded more than 100 companies through IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. These companies in total have received FDA approval for 54 drugs. For more information visit www.bioimpactcapital.com.
About MPM Capital
MPM Capital is a prominent biotechnology investment firm with three decades of experience creating and investing in companies that seek to translate scientific innovations into cures for major diseases. MPM strives to power novel medical breakthroughs that transform patients’ lives. It invests across the biotech landscape with its early stage venture capital funds, and with impact funds investing in both private and public companies through its affiliate, BioImpact Capital. For more information visit www.mpmcapital.com.