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Calico, AbbVie Partner on Aging Disorder Therapies

Hands with arthritis (NIH)

(National Institutes of Health)

3 September 2014. California Life Sciences LLC, better known as Calico, and the pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc. are collaborating on discovery and commercialization of drugs for age-related diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. The partnership, which includes building a new research center, could result in a joint investment as high as $1.5 billion.

Calico, started a year ago by Google, aims to address diseases associated with the aging process and that degrade the quality of life as people age. Google last year recruited Arthur Levinson as the company’s CEO. Levinson was chairman and CEO of the biotechnology company Genentech, now a subsidiary of Roche, and is currently chairman of Apple. Levinson also served on Google’s board from 2004 to 2009.

Under the deal, Calico and AbbVie will each contribute $250 million to fund the partnership, including the building of a research and development center in the San Francisco Bay region. Calico will concentrate on drug discovery and early drug development, through initial intermediate-stage clinical trials.

AbbVie plans focus on later-stage clinical trials and commercialization that advance new drugs to the marketplace. Both companies are expected to share costs and profits. The companies also agreed that further financial contributions could reach as high as $500 million from each party.

AbbVie currently has in its pipeline drugs and biologics for various disorders associated with aging, such as osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and both blood-related and solid tumor cancers.

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