Ropes & Gray Advises Blackstone in $2 Billion Strategic Financing Collaboration with Alnylam to Accelerate the Advancement of RNAi Therapeutic

In The News
April 15, 2020
Melissa S. Rones , Michael D. Beauvais ,
R. Newcomb Stillwell
Abigail E. Gregor ,
Albert F. Cacozza, Jr.
Zachary R. Blume ,
James M. Wilton
Pamela L. Glazier , Eve M. Brunts

Ropes & Gray advised Blackstone in its $2 billion strategic collaboration to support Alnylam’s advancement of innovative RNA interference (RNAi) medicines that have the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from a range of debilitating diseases. The transaction was announced in a press release.

The deal is anchored by Blackstone’s purchase of 50 percent of the royalties owed to Alnylam on global sales of inclisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, shown to reduce low-density lipoprotein.

The strategic financing collaboration, led by Blackstone Life Sciences and GSO Capital Partners, Blackstone’s credit platform, is expected to enable Alnylam’s achievement of a self-sustainable financial profile without need for future equity financing. 

Specifically, the transaction is comprised of the following components: 

  1. $1 billion in committed payments, led by Blackstone Life Sciences, to acquire 50 percent of Alnylam’s royalties and commercial milestones for inclisiran;
  2. Up to $750 million in a first lien senior secured term loan led by GSO;
  3. Up to $150 million from Blackstone Life Sciences for development of Alnylam’s cardiometabolic programs vutrisiran and ALN-AGT (to be established based upon a non-binding letter of intent);
  4. $100 million purchase of Alnylam common stock.

The Ropes & Gray team advising Blackstone Life Sciences was led by life sciences partners Melissa Rones and Michael Beauvais (both of Boston) and private equity partner Newcomb Stillwell (Boston).  It included senior associate Abigail Gregor (Boston), FDA regulatory partner Al Cacozza (Washington, D.C.), mergers & acquisitions partner Zach Blume (Boston), business restructuring partner James Wilton (Boston), tax partner Pam Glazier (Boston), and health care partner Eve Brunts (Boston). 

GSO Capital Partners was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in connection with the first lien senior secured term loan.