AbbVie, Google's Calico pitch in another $1B for anti-aging work

Calico, a biotech firm backed by Google, announced a $1 billion extension to its partnership with AbbVie. Now with $2.5 billion in funding, the venture is aimed at finding cures for aging-related diseases, such as neurodegeneration and cancer.

Kicked off in 2014, the initiative has produced more than 20 early-stage programs in oncology and neuroscience.

“Our collaboration with AbbVie has fully met our high expectations,” said Calico CEO Arthur Levinson, who formerly led Genentech and serves as chairman of Apple’s board of directors. “Our initial agreement created a unique partnership and this extension will accelerate further our efforts to understand the science of aging to advance novel therapies for patients.”

The two firms have agreed Calico will handle research and early development until 2022, while retaining responsibility for Phase 2a trials through 2027. AbbVie will have the option to spearhead late-stage developments and lead commercialization.

"We've built a successful collaboration—both scientifically and culturally—that is advancing cutting-edge science," said Michael Severino, MD, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at AbbVie. "Calico has attracted an outstanding team of world-class scientists and the extension of this collaboration allows us to further build on the research we've done to identify transformative treatment options for patients with age-related diseases."