The Roivant-Sumitomo Deal: $3 Billion, 5 Companies, $550 Million in Loans and an Option on 6 More Companies
In September, Roivant Sciences, Vivek Ramaswamy’s umbrella biotech company, agreed to sell ownership of five of its Vant companies to Japan’s Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma for $3 billion. Sumitomo Dainippon also was buying an equity stake of more than 10% of Roivant shares.
The companies have released more details of the deal, which includes an option on six more Vant companies until 2024. The agreement was formally signed yesterday. Sumitomo will create an as-yet unnamed company to shift the five companies into. They will be run by Myrtle Potter, a former Genentech executive who has been the operating chair of Roivant since July 2018.
There is a $3 billion upfront fee. In addition, Sumitomo will offer a $350 million loan facility to Myovant to fund the launch of relugolix, its Phase III candidate for uterine fibroids if it is approved. The Japanese firm will also loan Urovant $200 million for its vibegron for overactive bladder.
If Sumitomo options the other six companies, will have acquired a pipeline of more than 25 clinical programs with multiple possible launches from 2020 to 2022. In addition to buying the five initial companies, the deal gives Sumitomo access to Roivant’s proprietary technology platforms, DrugOme and Digital Innovation. It will also enter separate strategic client relationships with Datavant and Alyvant.
The five Vant companies are Myovant Sciences, Urovant Sciences, Enzyvant Therapeutics, Altavant Sciences, and Spirovant Sciences. Spirovant is a new Vant that focuses on developing gene therapies for cystic fibrosis.
In addition to Potter, other Roivant team members will move to the new entity. They include Adele Gulfo, Roivant’s chief of Commercial Development, Sam Azoulay, Roivant’s chief medical officer, and Dan Rothman, Roivant’s chief information officer.
“I am happy to announce that we have reached an agreement on the Strategic Alliance with Roivant, one of the strategic investments that we are making to address our challenges laid out in the Mid-Term Business Plan 2022,” said Hiroshi Nomura, representative director, president and chief executive officer of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. “This Strategic Alliance allows us to not only acquire potential blockbusters and innovative health technology platforms developed by Roivant, but it will also enable us to deepen our relationship with Roivant, a company that possesses an innovative business model and underlying culture. We expect this relationship will contribute significantly to the establishment of a position as a ‘Global Specialized Player’ which we aspire to be in by 2033.”
Spirovant is working to develop two therapies for cystic fibrosis. SPIRO-2101 uses an adeno-associated virus vector (AAV), like most gene therapies, to deliver a functional l CFTR gene to airway epithelial cells. SPIRO-2102 uses a proprietary lentiviral vector to deliver the gene. In animal models, both have showed restoration of CFTR function. The company’s aerosolization technology is designed to maximize uptake in the lungs.
The two therapeutics leverage technology out of the University of Iowa Center for Gene Therapy at the Carver College of Medicine. Its collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was involved with the manufacture of the preclinical supply of the AAV products.
“We are proud to enter this unique Alliance with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma,” said Ramaswamy. “We hope that our contributions to this Alliance will enable Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma to realize its vision to be a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition, we believe that this Alliance will increase the long-term value of each Vant in the Alliance through a combination of strong financial backing and other capabilities.”