AbbVie Forms $1.5 Billion Research Pact with Google-Backed Calico

AbbVie and Calico have formed a R&D collaboration to discover, develop, and market new therapies to treat age-related diseases, including for neurodegeneration and cancer. Calico is the Google-backed life sciences company that is led by Arthur D. Levinson PhD. (former chairman and CEO of Genentech) and Hal V. Barron, MD. (former executive vice president and chief medical officer of Genentech). The agreement paves the way for Calico to establish a research and development (R&D) facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Under the agreement, Calico will use its scientific expertise to establish a R&D facility, with a focus on drug discovery and early-drug development. AbbVie will provide scientific and clinical development support and commercial expertise to bring new discoveries to market 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 ten-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

Calico expects to begin filling critical positions immediately and plans to establish a  team of scientists and research staff in the San Francisco Bay Area.

​With his role as CEO of Calico, Levinson has resigned from Roche’s board of directors. He made this decision so as to avoid any conflict of interest, said Roche in a press statement. Levinson had served as a member of the Roche Board of Directors since 2010 and as chairman of Genentech from 1999 to 2014. He joined Genentech in 1980 as a research scientist and became vice president, research technology in 1989, vice president, research in 1990, senior vice president, research in 1992, and senior vice president, research and development in 1993. He served as CEO of Genentech from 1995 to 2009. Since 2013, he has served as CEO of Calico.

Source: AbbVie and Roche

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