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AbbVie Extends Deal With Voyager to Make Parkinson's Drugs

Zacks Equity Research
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AbbVie, Inc. ABBV announced an expansion of its global strategic collaboration and option agreement with small biotech Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. VYGR to develop potential gene therapies for Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies.

Per the deal, Voyager will develop vectorized antibodies targeting pathological species of alpha-synuclein. An abnormal accumulation of misfolded alpha-synuclein protein eventually leads to the formation of protein deposits and progressive neurodegeneration in patients with PD and other synucleinopathies.

Per the deal, Voyager will develop vectorized antibodies in preclinical stage, after which AbbVie has an option to in-license the vectorized alpha-synuclein antibody program for further clinical development.

Voyager is entitled to receive $65 million upfront from AbbVie and up to $245 million in preclinical and phase I option payments. Meanwhile, Voyager will also be entitled to potential development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments of up to $728 million and royalties on future sales.

Last year, AbbVie signed a collaboration with Voyager to develop potential new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other tau-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Shares of Voyager were up almost 23% on announcement of the deal with AbbVie.

AbbVie has always been actively pursuing partnership deals and collaborations for candidates across several therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology, neuroscience, and infectious diseases. Some partners include Roche RHHBY, J&J JNJ and Boehringer Ingelheim among others. We believe the company will continue pursuing deals like the one with Voyager to grow its pipeline.

AbbVie currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can seethe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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