Royalty Pharma’s 2020 deal with Biohaven Pharmaceuticals for migraine nasal spray zavegepant is beginning to pay off.
Back then, Royalty offered $250 million to Biohaven to develop the treatment, choosing to receive milestones and future royalties in return. Pfizer then acquired Biohaven for $11.6 billion last year, taking over the deal with Royalty.
This week, Zavegepant, also known as Zavzpret, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The approval means Pfizer is paying Royalty Pharma $475 million in milestones, Royalty announced this week.
“We are pleased that Zavspret was approved by the FDA, which provides another important new treatment option for migraine patients,” Royalty CEO Pablo Legorreta said in a statement. “Furthermore, this accelerated return on our Zavzpret R&D funding provides additional capital that can be redeployed to create long-term shareholder value.”
Royalty Pharma added in the press release it would also receive royalties on net sales for both Nurtec ODT and Zavzpret.
Zavzpret is a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist nasal spray, which showed statistical superiority over placebos in a pivotal Phase III study. It also reached co-primary endpoints of freedom from pain and freedom from the most bothersome symptoms after two hours.
Angela Hwang, chief commercial officer and president of the global biopharmaceuticals business at Pfizer, noted in a statement that the treatment will provide an alternative to oral migraine medications.
“Zavzpret underscores Pfizer’s commitment to delivering an additional treatment option to help people with migraine relief and get back to their daily lives,” Hwang said. “Pfizer will continue to build its migraine franchise to further support the billions of people worldwide impacted by this debilitating disease.”
This is one of Royalty’s several deals to acquire royalty payments and milestones; most recently, it sealed an agreement with Ionis Pharmaceuticals to acquire an interest in Biogen’s spinal muscular atrophy treatment Spinraza royalty for $500 million. It also paid $625 million upfront for an interest in Novartis’ pelacarsen.
In November, Royalty announced it would acquire royalty interest in Amgen’s siRNA therapeutic Olpasiran, through a $250 million deal with Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. Olpasiran is being studied for its potential in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.