AbbVie Goes Boldly Into Immuno-Neurology With Alector
AbbVie agreed to pay $205m up front to biotech start-up Alector to research a portfolio of antibody targets to treat Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases by harnessing the immune system.
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Private Company Edition: Gossamer, Ascentage and Alector continued the trend of large venture capital rounds, recently raising $230m, $150m and $133m, respectively. Led by former Receptos executives, Gossamer has multiple clinical trials planned, but continues to keep details of its drug candidates under wraps.
Private Company Edition: The Dementia Discovery Fund started in 2015 with plans to raise $200m to fund early-stage development of disease-modifying drugs, but recently closed its fundraising with $350m in commitments. Also, Kaleido's $101m Series C is among three recent $100m-plus rounds.
Collaboration between Voyager and AbbVie will attempt to produce a single-administration gene therapy targeting tau protein, using adeno-associated vector technology to pass the blood-brain barrier.