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Oaktree Capital Management Commits $225MM in Financing to Athenex

June 23, 2020, 08:55 AM
Filed Under: Pharmaceuticals

Athenex, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and related conditions, today announced that it has entered into a $225 million loan agreement with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), a leading global investment firm (the “Agreement”). The Company expects the proceeds from the financing will be used to fund the commercial launch of oral paclitaxel and encequidar (Oral Paclitaxel), ongoing pipeline development, refinancing of existing indebtedness, manufacturing infrastructure, and working capital and general corporate purposes.

The Agreement provides Athenex with up to $225 million of capital. $100 million is being funded up front, with a portion of the upfront loan proceeds being used to repay in full the existing debt facility with the Perceptive Credit Opportunities Fund. Additional debt tranches of $125 million in aggregate are available subject to Athenex’s achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones. The loan matures in June 2026. Further information with respect to the term loan is set forth in a Form 8-K filed by Athenex with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 22, 2020.

“We are pleased to have Oaktree as our partner in the continued pursuit of our mission to deliver innovative cancer treatments to patients,” said Dr. Johnson Lau, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Athenex. “This term loan will provide Athenex the financial flexibility to continue advancing the development and commercialization of our lead drug candidates. We intend to further invest in the lifecycle management of Oral Paclitaxel and additional R&D activities to maximize the potential value of our product pipeline. This funding will also provide necessary capital to support our operations as a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company. We are grateful to have had the Perceptive Credit Opportunities Fund as our credit partner to enable us to build our clinical pipeline.”

Aman Kumar, Managing Director at Oaktree, commented, “We are excited to be a long-term partner of Athenex by providing financial support for clinical and commercialization activities. We believe Oral Paclitaxel and the Orascovery platform could provide important treatment options for cancer patients around the world.”

Sam Chawla, Portfolio Manager at Perceptive Advisors, added, “We are delighted that our financing partnership with Athenex has supported development of the Company’s pipeline and business. We congratulate Athenex on the tremendous clinical advancements made with its two key drug candidates. We continue to be a strong believer in the long-term potential of Athenex and look forward to seeing the Company grow to the next level as it delivers important medicines to cancer patients in need.”

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. and Royalty/Revenue Interest Capital Advisors LLC served as financial advisors to Athenex and Cooley LLP served as legal counsel to Athenex. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as legal counsel to Oaktree.

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