Alector and AbbVie Announce Collaboration to Advance a Novel Class of Immune Therapies for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

October 26, 2017  Source: 214

AbbVie (ABBV), a global biopharmaceutical company, and Alector, a privately owned biotechnology company, announced a global strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize medicines to treat Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Immuno-neurology is a rapidly evolving scientific area focused on harnessing the power of the immune system to attack devastating neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease. There is increasing rationale – from large-scale human genetic analyses and animal model studies – that immune deficiencies within the central nervous system play an important role in the progression of  neurodegeneration. Alector has developed an innovative immuno-neurology technology platform to simultaneously address multiple pathologies associated with neurodegeneration.

"Alzheimer's is among the most difficult-to-treat diseases and there is an urgent need for new scientific approaches that lead to better therapies for patients," said Jim Sullivan, Ph.D., vice president, pharmaceutical discovery, AbbVie. "Alector's unique approach to engaging the immune system to combat neurodegeneration reflects our commitment to target this epidemic in new ways.  We recognized the potential of Alector's research first as an AbbVie Ventures portfolio company and are now eager to partner with them to further develop this platform into meaningful advances for patients."

"We seek to advance the field of immuno-neurology as a new therapeutic modality for dementia and neurodegeneration. We anticipate that immuno-neurology therapies will have as much of an impact on brain disorders as immuno-oncology is having on cancer," said Arnon Rosenthal Ph.D., chief executive officer, Alector. "We look forward to co-developing our disease-modifying drugs in true partnership with AbbVie, which is making a bold commitment to the field."

Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie and Alector have agreed to research a portfolio of antibody targets and AbbVie has an option to global development and commercial rights to two targets.  Alector will conduct exploratory research, drug discovery and development for lead programs up to the conclusion of the proof of concept (PoC) studies. Upon exercise of the option, AbbVie will lead development and commercialization activities. Alector and AbbVie will co-fund development and commercialization and will share global profits equally. Alector will receive a $205 million upfront payment and a potential, future equity investment of up to $20 million.

Alector is a portfolio company of AbbVie Ventures.

By Ddu