AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) and Calico Life Sciences today announced an extension of their leading-edge collaboration to discover, develop and bring to market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases, including neurodegeneration and cancer. This is the second extension of the collaboration originally established in 2014.
Calico is a life sciences company founded by Alphabet together with Calico CEO Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., who previously led Genentech as chairman and CEO. With more than 200 employees, Calico has established a world-class research and development facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As part of the collaboration, working together with AbbVie, Calico pursues discovery-stage research and development utilizing state-of-the-art technology and advanced computing capabilities. AbbVie provides scientific and clinical development support and will lend its expertise to future commercialization activities. Since 2014, the collaboration has produced more than 20 early-stage programs addressing disease states across immuno-oncology and neurodegeneration and has yielded new insights into the biology of aging. Further, AbbVie and Calico have advanced three neurodegeneration and cancer targets into the clinic, with a deep preclinical pipeline behind it. For instance, the lead immuno-oncology target, currently in Phase I studies, includes two PTPN2 inhibitors, which act at multiple steps in the cancer immunity cycle.
“Our collaboration has evolved into an innovation engine, particularly for novel targets in the oncology and immuno-oncology space, that could break new ground for challenging, age-related diseases,” said Tom Hudson, M.D., senior vice president, R&D, chief scientific officer, AbbVie.
“The extension of this collaboration enables Calico’s world-class scientists and the AbbVie Discovery team to continue to build on the transformative research we’ve done and advance more preclinical and clinical programs that have first-in-class potential,” said Gerry Fox, Ph.D., vice president, Discovery, AbbVie.
“We set out seven years ago to bring forth a unique partnership with AbbVie that we believed could yield both novel insights into the biology of aging and first-in-class targets for age-related diseases,” said Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., CEO of Calico.
“Our three clinical initiatives and more than 20 discovery and preclinical programs to date are clear evidence of how productive a partnership we’ve established.” Aarif Khakoo, M.D., head of research and development, Calico, added, “This additional extension validates our original vision and is a testament to the collective efforts of many people from both organizations who are working to deepen our understanding of specific disease pathways and develop novel therapies for patients.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the collaboration between the two companies will extend in 2022 for an additional three years. Calico will be responsible for research and early development until 2025 and will advance collaboration projects into Phase 2a through 2030. AbbVie will continue to support Calico in its early R&D efforts and, following completion of Phase 2a studies, will have the option to manage late-stage development and commercial activities. Both parties will share costs and profits equally. AbbVie and Calico will each commit to contribute an additional $500 million to the collaboration.