Published: Apr 01, 2019

TORONTO, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (“Newcastle University”) and Sagard Healthcare Royalty Partners (“SHRP”) announced today that the University has sold to SHRP a portion of its royalty interest in a novel cancer drug, marketed as Rubraca, for a cash payment of US $31 million.

Rubraca (rucaparib) belongs to an emerging class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors and was developed through a research collaboration between Newcastle University, Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Research Technology Limited (formerly known as Cancer Research Campaign Technology Limited), and Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc.). The commercialization rights were subsequently licensed to Clovis Oncology, Inc., which successfully developed Rubraca through clinical trials.

Today, Rubraca is approved in both the United States and Europe for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy, and for the treatment of adult patients with deleterious BRCA mutation (germline and/or somatic)-associated epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies. Rubraca is also in development for additional indications including the treatment of metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer and bladder cancer.

The transaction is structured as an upfront payment from SHRP in exchange for 100% of the royalty entitlement up to an undisclosed cap, and then 15% of the entitlement thereafter. Newcastle University will use the proceeds of the transaction to support ongoing development of teaching and learning facilities for students across the University and to facilitate research.

“We are thrilled to announce our first transaction as part of the Sagard Holdings team,” said David MacNaughtan, Partner and Head of SHRP. “Royalty monetization enables research-based institutions such as Newcastle University to accelerate returns on innovation and manage risk, and we are pleased to support the cycle of technology development.”

Professor Chris Day, President and Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, said: “The achievement of the Newcastle University team cannot be underestimated in taking this fundamental research into development and then into market as a cancer treatment. The success of this drug development shows how, as a University, we are making a positive impact on the lives of thousands of patients and tackling real world issues in the University. This feat now enables us to invest further into research and into the futures of thousands of students in developing teaching and learning facilities.”

SHRP, the royalty monetization business of Sagard Holdings, was launched in January 2019, and aims to be a premier investor in the life sciences sector. SHRP’s principal focus is on traditional royalty or credit-like investments, protected by strong intellectual property, which can generate attractive cash-yielding returns that are uncorrelated with public markets. Royalty-based transactions are increasingly pursued in the life sciences industry as a means of managing risk and accelerating the returns on innovation, and SHRP will bring its proven expertise to develop tailored solutions to help royalty holders maximize value.

“We’re ecstatic about the royalty team’s progress in such a short period of time,” said Adam Vigna, Chief Investment Officer of Sagard Holdings. “The ability to source a deep pipeline of opportunities and close an investment like this one in a competitive process within two months is testament to the quality of the team and the depth of their network, as well as Sagard Holdings’ ability to support and launch new strategies. We’re excited to officially add healthcare royalties and related investments to our suite of alternative asset strategies.”

MTS Health Partners, L.P. served as exclusive structuring and financial advisor and Covington & Burling LLP served as transactional counsel to Newcastle University. Ropes & Gray served as transactional counsel to SHRP.

About Sagard Holdings
Sagard Holdings is a multi-strategy alternative asset manager with professionals located in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Paris and Singapore. Sagard looks to generate attractive returns by matching investment opportunities with flexible capital solutions and pairing entrepreneurs with teams that have deep industry knowledge. We develop long term partnership and empower the growth of our investments through a unique global network of portfolio companies, limited partners, advisors and other valued relationships. Today, Sagard invests across 4 asset classes; equity, private credit (Sagard Credit Partners), royalties (Sagard Healthcare Royalty Partners), and venture capital (Portag3 Ventures and Diagram). Sagard Holdings was founded by Power Corporation of Canada in 2005 as a complement to its global investment holdings.

About Newcastle University, UK
Newcastle University, UK, is a thriving international community of some 27,750 students from over 130 countries worldwide. As a member of the Russell Group of research intensive universities in the UK, Newcastle has a world-class reputation for research excellence in the fields of medicine, science and engineering, social sciences and the humanities. Its academics are sharply focused on responding to the major challenges facing society today. Our research and teaching are world-leading in areas as diverse as health, culture, technology and the environment. The Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF) placed Newcastle University 16th in the UK for Research Power and the vast majority of our research (78%) was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent. Newcastle University is committed to providing our students with excellent, research-led teaching delivered by dedicated and passionate teachers. This is reaffirmed by achieving the best possible outcome – a Gold Award – in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Newcastle is placed joint top 9 in Europe for teaching excellence in the Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings.

About Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. Cancer Research UK receives no funding from the UK government for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on vital donations from the public. Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years. Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses. Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit Follow Cancer Research UK on Twitter and Facebook.

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SOURCE Sagard Healthcare Royalty Partners