Liquidia secures $100 million in new financing
Morrisville-based Liquidia Corp., which is pursuing final regulatory approval for Yutrepia, its treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension, has secured two agreements that will give the company an additional $100 million in capital.
Liquidia announced Thursday that it had agreed to sell more than 7 million shares to an affiliate of Patient Square Capital, a healthcare investment firm in Menlo Park, Calif. With the private placement priced at $10.442 per share - an 8% discount to Liquidia’s closing price of Jan. 3 - the proceeds will be about $75 million.
In a separate transaction, Liquidia has secured an additional $25 million in funding from HealthCare Royalty (HCRx), a Connecticut-based market royalty acquisition firm. HCRx, which already was providing capital to Liquidia through a financing agreement, now has a total investment in Liquidia amounting to $67.5 million.
“With these financings, we are well positioned to achieve our corporate objectives in 2024 and could bridge the Company to profitability if YUTREPIA is able to launch by April,” Michael Kaseta, Liquidia’s chief financial officer, said in a statement.
Liquidia’s leading drug candidate, Yutrepia, has been the subject of an ongoing patent infringement case with United Therapeutics, which is co-headquartered in Research Triangle Park. In December, a federal appeals court issued a ruling in favor of Liquidia.
Investors and industry observers have been keeping tabs on the litigation. Liquidia’s anticipated launch of Yutrepia, a treprostinil inhalation powder tentatively approved by the FDA in 2021, was delayed when United Therapeutics alleged that Yutrepia infringed two of its patents.
In its Dec. 20 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion affirming an earlier decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The PTAB had invalidated U.S. Patent No. 10,716,793, which is for the United Therapeutics drug Tyvaso.
The appeals court ruling could help pave the way for Liquidia to seek final approval for Yetrepia from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. But additional steps remain as Liquidia and United Therapeutics await further court rulings.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension affects an estimated 45,000 patients in the United States. The condition is marked by a hardening and narrowing of the pulmonary arteries, which can lead to heart failure and death.
Liquidia is a publicly held company that was spun out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center helped Liquidia's product commercialization activities in 2011 and 2012 by funding postdoctoral industrial fellowships totaling more than $83,000.