Mission Therapeutics, a drug discovery and development company focused on targeting the ubiquitin pathway, and AbbVie today announced the progression of the selected deubiquitylating enzyme (DUB) targets into the next phase of research in their neurodegenerative disease collaboration.
In the second major milestone of the Companies’ research and preclinical development collaboration, AbbVie has nominated two DUB targets to progress to the next stage of drug discovery. This selection follows supportive data from in vitro and in vivo Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease models. As a result of the nomination, Mission will receive a milestone payment of $20 million from AbbVie.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are the most common neurological disorders worldwide, with over 50 million people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and 10 million more with Parkinson’s. While there are treatments to help reduce symptoms, there are no treatments available to help stop or reverse progression.
Both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are associated with the accumulation of misfolded, proteins in the brain, which are believed to cause impaired function and death of nerve cells. DUBs can help to maintain cell health by regulating the degradation of these proteins.
Under the terms of the agreement, first announced in 2018, Mission and AbbVie are collaborating to identify novel DUB targets and discover associated inhibitor compounds for neurodegenerative diseases. AbbVie has the option to gain exclusive rights to develop and commercialize inhibitors of selected DUB targets and will pay Mission success-based milestones as well as royalty payments for each commercialized product.
Commenting on the development, Dr Anker Lundemose, Mission’s CEO, said:
“We are delighted to have reached this next major milestone in our collaboration with AbbVie and receive the $20 million milestone – this represents a big step forward for Mission and further highlights DUBs as targets for drug development. The successful and timely progression of two DUB targets into the drug discovery phase is further validation of our platform. We look forward to the continuation of this great neurodegenerative disease collaboration.”
Dr Eric Karran, Vice President, Neuroscience Discovery Research, AbbVie commented:
“There is an urgent need for treatments that can make tangible and lasting improvements to the lives of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients. Our collaboration with Mission has the potential to identify novel therapeutic options for neurodegenerative disorders. We have had a great experience working with Mission and are pleased to be able to continue to draw on their valued expertise as we enter the next phase of drug development.”