Under a new agreement announced in December, the global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie will collaborate with Scripps Research to develop new therapies for a range of diseases—including indications spanning oncology, immunology, neurology and fibrosis

AbbVie and Scripps Research began working together in 2018 to create innovative cell therapies for cancer, leveraging the power of Calibr’s “switchable” CAR-T therapy platform. CAR-T (short for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapies harness the power of a patient’s own immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells.

“Based on our strong switchable CAR-T alliance, we feel the expanded relationship with AbbVie represents a robust path forward for some of our programs, complementing a diverse ecosystem of innovation we’ve created over the past several years,” says Peter Schultz, PhD, president and CEO of Scripps Research and Calibr, its drug discovery and development division.

In addition to programs initially named in the collaboration, Scripps Research will present AbbVie with additional preclinical programs of mutual interest. Scripps and AbbVie will also work together to advance cancer drugs known as “CD3 bi-specifics” which can bind to two different targets in the body.

Under the terms of the deal, Scripps Research will continue to conduct pre-clinical research and development activities for certain drug programs—and, in some cases, move those programs into early clinical trials. AbbVie will have an exclusive option to further develop and commercialize the potential new drugs.

“The best way to develop transformational medicines is through collaborations that bring together the brightest minds,” says Mohit Trikha, PhD, vice president and head of oncology early development, AbbVie. “We are eager to partner with Scripps Research on these assets as they enter the clinic over the next few years, as Scripps has one of the strongest track records of any academic institution when it comes to advancing novel medicines for patients.”