CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioImpact Capital, a subsidiary of MPM Capital (“MPM”), today announced that Orna Therapeutics (“Orna”), a portfolio company it founded, incubated and funded, has agreed to collaborate history with one of the world’s leading large biopharmaceutical companies. The collaboration, with a total transaction value of up to $3.75 billion if specified common goals are achieved, will span multiple programs, including infectious disease and oncology vaccines and treatments.
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 greater amounts of therapeutic proteins inside the body. Orna’s circular RNA technology, along with Orna’s proprietary lipid nanoparticles (“LNPs”) and Orna’s joint venture with RNA delivery company ReNAgade Therapeutics, hold significant potential benefits for millions patients with infectious diseases, cancer and other illnesses.
Orna will receive $150 million in cash from a major global biopharmaceutical company as part of a collaboration agreement, up to an additional $3.5 billion associated with development, regulatory and sales stages, plus royalties on approved products. Meanwhile, Orna announced a Series B funding of $221 million, with the company’s valuation at over $1.5 billion. The UBS Oncology Impact Fund (“OIF”), managed by BioImpact Capital, is Orna’s largest shareholder.
BioImpact Capital is the investment manager of OIF and its successor fund, Oncology Impact Fund 2 (“OIF 2”). Together, the two funds have attracted more than $1.3 billion in capital, making them the largest biotech impact investment funds in history. A portion of the performance fees from the two funds and royalties from treatments developed by OIF start-ups such as Orna will be donated to the American Association for Cancer Research, to help fund grants for the next-generation cancer research and philanthropic organizations. initiatives to improve access to cancer care in developing countries.
Ansbert Gadicke, MD, Chairman of the Board of Orna, Managing Partner of BioImpact Capital and Managing Director of MPM, 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 biotech company to date, demonstrating the power of the platform. ‘Orna.
Tom Barnes, Ph.D., President and CEO of Orna and entrepreneur at BioImpact Capital and MPM, said: “We are delighted to begin this collaboration with a company committed to cutting-edge science, which has recognized the potential that our platform can bring to patients. Our RNAo technology and 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-based therapies for patients in need of better treatment options.
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About BioImpact Capital
BioImpact Capital is a leading biotechnology impact investment manager that draws on its extensive experience in business development and clinical development, as well as its deep expertise in research and intellectual property, to create and invest in private and public companies through clinical proof of concept. BioImpact Capital is a subsidiary of MPM Capital, which has guided over 100 companies through IPOs and M&As. In total, these companies have received FDA approval for 54 drugs. For more information, visit www.bioimpactcapital.com.
About MPM Capital
MPM Capital is a leading biotechnology investment firm with three decades of experience building and investing in companies that seek to translate scientific innovation into cures for major diseases. MPM strives to propel new medical breakthroughs that transform patients’ lives. It invests in the biotech landscape with its early-stage venture capital funds and with impact funds investing in private and public companies through its subsidiary, BioImpact Capital. For more information, visit www.mpmcapital.com.