AbbVie, Voyager ink $69M deal to develop Alzheimer's drug

AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company based in North Chicago, Ill., teamed up with Voyager Therapeutics, a clinical-stage gene therapy company, to develop a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Here are four things to know.

1. Under the terms of the deal, AbbVie will pay Voyager $69 million upfront as well as up to $155 million in potential preclinical and phase 1 payments and up to $895 million if development and regulatory milestones are hit.

2. The duo aims to develop and commercialize vectorized antibodies directed against accumulated tau proteins. In healthy individuals, tau proteins promote function; however, these proteins accumulate in a diseased brain, which results in brain deterioration.

3. The partnership combines Voyager's gene therapy platform and expertise in generating vectors for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases with AbbVie's expertise in antibodies and experience with global development and commercial capabilities.

4. Voyager will be responsible for research and preclinical activities. AbbVie will fund the preclinical activities.

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