Chicago-based AbbVie and Calico, a California-based Google-founded R&D company, have announced a novel R&D collaboration intended to help the two companies discover, develop and bring to market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases, including for neurodegeneration and cancer.
Calico is a Google-backed life sciences company led by Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., former chairman and CEO of Genentech, and Hal V. Barron, M.D., former executive vice president and chief medical officer of Genentech.
The companies will accelerate the availability of new therapies for age-related diseases. Calico will use its scientific expertise to establish a world-class R&D facility in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a focus on drug discovery and early drug development. AbbVie will provide scientific and clinical development support and its commercial expertise to bring new discoveries to market.
"This collaboration demonstrates our commitment to exploring new areas of medicine and innovative approaches to drug discovery and development that augments our already robust pipeline," said Richard A. Gonzalez, chairman of the board and CEO, AbbVie.
"Our relationship with AbbVie is a pivotal event for Calico, whose mission is to develop life-enhancing therapies for people with age-related diseases. It will greatly accelerate our efforts to understand the science of aging, advance our clinical work and help bring important new therapies to patients everywhere," said Art Levinson, CEO and founder of Calico.
AbbVie and Calico will each initially provide up to $250 million to fund the collaboration, with the potential for both sides to contribute an additional $500 million. Calico will be responsible for research and early development during the first five years and continue to advance collaboration projects through phase IIa for a 10-year period. AbbVie will support Calico in its early R&D efforts and, following completion of phase IIa studies, will have the option to manage late-stage development and commercial activities.
Both parties will share costs and profits equally.
Michael Severino, M.D., executive vice president, R&D, and chief scientific officer, AbbVie, said, "Our broad R&D experience and capabilities will complement Calico's biotechnology expertise and innovative scientific approaches. Together, we are confident that we will bring new therapeutic solutions to patients."
Calico expects to begin filling critical positions immediately and plans to establish a substantial team of scientists and research staff in the San Francisco Bay Area.