Google's Calico teams with AbbVie for anti-aging drugs

Steven Loeb · September 3, 2014 · Short URL:

The two companies will split the cost of a $1.5B new research and development facility

Remember Calico? It was the company that was founded by Google just about a year ago, and whose was to take on the aging process. The focus was said to be on health and well-being, particularly when it comes to aging and diseases associated with that process.

Well, now the company is getting a big new research and development facility, through a newly announced partnership with AbbVie, a biopharmaceutical company that formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. 

The collaboration between the Calico and AbbVie is "intended to help the two companies discover, develop and bring to market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases, including for neurodegeneration and cancer," the companies said in a joint press release. 

The new facility will cost up to $1.5 billion, with the costs being split evenly between the two sides. BothAbbVie and Calico will each initially provide up to $250 million, with the potential for each one to put an additional $500 million into the project. 

Once it is up and running, Calico will use the facility to put its focus on drug discovery and early drug development, while AbbVie will be providing scientific and clinical development support and helping to bring the new drugs to market.

The partnership between the two companies will last at least 15 years; Calico will be responsible for research and early development during the first five years, and will then continue to advance collaboration projects through for another ten-year period.

Calico is headed by Arthur Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech and Chairman of Apple,

Google health

Google has recently been putting a lot of effort into projects having to do with health and human body, which very well could have something to do with CEO Larry Page's own health problems.

In May of last year, Page revealed that he has been suffering problems with his vocal cords for years. 14 years ago his left vocal cord became paralyzed, a nerve problem that causes it to not move correctly, resulting in a weaker voice. His right vocal cord also eventually suffered the same condition, softening his voice even further. 

Following his announcement about his health, Page announced that he would be funding a research program through the Voice Health Institute, which will be lead by  Dr. Steven Zeitels from the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center

In addition to Calico, some of the other projects that Google have been working on include a smart contact lens for monitoring diabetes, and, more recently, something called Baseline Study, which will involve the collecting of genetic and molecular information from a group of people.

The project will collect hundreds of different samples using a wide variety of new diagnostic tools. Then Google will find patterns, or "biomarkers," buried in the information, with the hope  that these biomarkers can be used by medical researchers to detect any disease much earlier. 

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