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AbbVie bets on Alzheimer's immunotherapy with big biotech deal

AbbVie bets on Alzheimer's immunotherapy with big biotech deal
From Reuters - October 24, 2017

(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker AbbVie is betting on the potential of the bodys immune system to fight Alzheimers by signing a drug development deal worth more than $200 million with unlisted biotech company Alector.

AbbVie said on Tuesday it was paying $205 million upfront and could make a further $20 million equity investment to work with San Francisco-based Alector on the new approach to tackling the memory-robbing disease.

The idea of using immunotherapy in Alzheimers mirrors the success of immuno-oncology in cancer, where drugs that help the immune system battle tumors are revolutionizing care.

Scientists at AbbVie and Alector believe there is growing evidence that immune deficiencies within the central nervous system play an important role in the progression ofneurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers.

We anticipate that immuno-neurology therapies will have as much of an impact on brain disorders as immuno-oncology is having on cancer, said Alectors chief executive, Arnon Rosenthal.

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