Google’s health and antiaging startup, Calico, is teaming up with biotechnology drugmaker AbbVie in a $500 million joint venture that will try to develop new ways to treat cancer and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
AbbVie and Calico announced a novel R and 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.
Under the agreement, the companies will combine their complementary strengths to accelerate the availability of new therapies for age-related diseases:
Calico will use its scientific expertise to establish a world-class research and development facility, with a focus on drug discovery and early drug development; and AbbVie will provide scientific and clinical development support and its commercial expertise to bring new discoveries to market.
“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 therapies to patients everywhere,” said Art Levinson, CEO and founder of Calico.
Details of the Research Collaboration
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 (so $500 million now and possibly $1.5 billion)
Calico will be responsible for research and early development during the first five years and continue to advance collaboration projects through Phase 2a for a ten-year period
AbbVie will support Calico in its early R&D efforts and, following completion of Phase 2a studies, activities
Both parties will share costs and profits equally
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the many outstanding scientists at AbbVie to ensure that the important science at Calico is advanced quickly to benefit patients,” said Hal Barron, M.D., President of Research and Development at Calico.
“We are extremely proud to have our research teams partnering with Calico as we aim to address treatments for diseases of aging,” said Michael Severino, M.D., Executive Vice President, Research and Development, and Chief Scientific Officer, AbbVie. “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 is taking the long view with its decade-long startup plans, and AbbVie appears ready to invest heavily for the chance to participate. Hal Barron, who left a senior R and D position at Roche to work with Levinson again, is in charge of research at Calico. Levinson is the former CEO at Genentech, which emerged under his leadership as one of the premier cancer drug developers in the world.