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AbbVie teams up with Voyager Therapeutics to develop Alzheimer's treatment

AbbVie Inc. is collaborating with Cambridge, Mass.-based Voyager Therapeutics Inc. to develop and commercialize treatments for Alzheimer's disease based on vectorized antibodies directed against tau.

Tau is a protein that promotes cellular stability and function. In the diseased brain, altered tau accumulates, resulting in impaired brain function and neuronal cell loss.

The collaboration will use Voyager's gene therapy platform to find potential treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease.

Voyager will receive an upfront payment of $69 million as well as up to $155 million in potential preclinical and phase 1 trial related payments.

The company is also eligible to receive up to $895 million in development and regulatory milestone payments along with royalties on future sales of any potential products from the alliance.

Voyager will perform and fund the research, preclinical development and phase 1 studies of the antibodies and then AbbVie will select one or more antibodies to proceed into clinical development.