Scripps Research, an international leader in non-profit biomedical research and drug discovery, inked a collaborative deal with AbbVie, a multinational biopharmaceutical company, to develop new therapies for a range of diseases, including targeted candidates in oncology, immunology, neurology and fibrosis. This deal showcases how biopharmaceutical companies increasingly “externalize” research and development and drug development to maintain a velocity and pace of innovation to contribute to experimental drug pipelines and ultimately remain competitive.
The two parties entered into a “switchable CAR-T alliance” in 2018. Scripps Research subsidiary Calibr to develop next generation T cell therapies. Based on the momentum and progress of this initial relationship Peter Schultz, PhD and CEO of Scripps Research reported that “the relationship with AbbVie represents a robust path forward for some of our programs, complementing a diverse ecosystem of innovation we’ve created over the past years at Scripps to advance life-changing therapies.”
What is the Partnership Focus?
In addition to named programs in the collaboration—from preclinical (animal research) to IND stages of development, Scripps Research will present to AbbVie a certain number of preclinical programs of mutual interest per year for consideration to be included in the collaboration. The pair will collaborate to advance CD3 bispecifics against oncology targets nominated by AbbVie.
Hence, Scripps Research becomes an important early stage research contributor to AbbVie and in that way represents the ongoing “externalizing” of big pharmas R&D clinical pipelines to focused, innovative non-profit organizations, biotech and universities.
Scripps will continue to conduct preclinical research and development activities, in some cases, Phase I clinical trials with AbbVie having an exclusive option to further develop and commercialize. Upon AbbVie’s decision to exercise its option to a given program, Scripps Research is eligible to receive additional payments from AbbVie, including option exercise fees, success-based development and commercial milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties. Moreover, AbbVie will make an undisclosed upfront payment, as well as a near-term milestone payment upon achievement of certain success criteria.
TrialSite News was not able to verify the amount involved but will certainly be reviewing this matter.
Externalization and Collaboration the Key for Robust Drug Development
As mentioned by Mohit Trikha, PhD, vice president and head of oncology early development, AbbVie, “The best way to develop transformational medicines is through collaborations that bring together the brightest minds” to “advance next stage generation programs, build stronger relationships with providen and emerging scientific leadrs and most importantly, help us advance novel medicines for patients.
Trikha forgot the other key stakeholders: investors. They expect certain growth prospects and a healthy and vibrant pipeline is a key to valuation.
Scripps Research, with campuses in California and Florida, ranks as the most influential scientific organization in the world, unparalleled in propelling innovation in science and medicine. Our unique structure merges foundational studies in biology, chemistry and computer science with translational science to produce the next generation of drugs and advances in digital and precision medicine. Scientists in the institute’s five academic research departments work hand-in-hand with researchers of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and Calibr. Together, we cultivate the next generation of scientific leaders and expand the frontiers of knowledge to drive innovation that improves lives around the planet.