Google's health start-up Calico has entered into a joint venture of $500 million with US drugmaker AbbVie to cure diseases of aging, according to a report by Reuters.
Both the companies will invest $250 million to help Calico use its scientific expertise to create research facilities in the San Francisco Bay area. Each partner could ultimately invest an additional $500 million in the collaboration.
"Calico expects to begin filling critical positions immediately and plans to establish a substantial team of scientists and research staff in the San Francisco Bay area," the companies said in a joint release.
Calico, a Google-backed biotech company run by the former Genentech chief executive Arthur D. Levinson, focuses on issues like life-threatening diseases and problems affecting mental and physical agility due to aging.
AbbVie, a spin-off from Abbott Laboratoriessells Humira, a $13 billion-a-year treatment for rheumatoid arthritis which is the world's top-selling medicine.
AbbVie told reuters that it was the first drugmaker to forge collaboration with Calico. Under the deal, AbbVie will provide scientific and clinical development support and commercial expertise. The partners will share costs equally, and profits, if drugs are successfully developed.
Under the deal, AbbVie will back Calico's early research and following completion of Phase 2a studies, will have the option to manage late-stage trials and marketing.