Google-Supported Calico, UCSF Partner
Calico, a Google-founded research and development company focused on advancing technologies to increase understanding of the biology that controls human lifespan, and UC San Francisco (UCSF), a University of California health sciences campus, have partnered to develop potential therapies for cognitive decline.
Under the agreement, Calico will receive an exclusive license to technology discovered in the laboratory of Peter Walter, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. Walter is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at UCSF, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and recipient of the sAlbert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 2014.
The agreement is focused on modulators of the Integrated Stress Response (ISR), a set of processes activated in cells under conditions of stress. Under some circumstances, the ISR can be deleterious. For example, under certain circumstances the ISR may contribute to memory decline, a significant problem potentially addressed by the licensed technology. Under the terms of the agreement, UCSF will receive an undisclosed up-front fee, and potential milestone and royalty payments. Calico will take responsibility for further research, development and commercialization of resulting therapeutics.
Calico 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). In 2014, AbbVie and Calico formed a $1.5-billion R&D collaboration to discover, develop, and market new therapies to treat age-related diseases, including for neurodegeneration and cancer. 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.