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AbbVie buys exclusive right to acquire Mitokinin’s Parkinson’s asset

Company can acquire asset following the completion of IND enabling studies

AbbVie has purchased an exclusive right to acquire Mitokinin’s lead PINK1 asset following the completion of IND enabling studies for Parkinson’s disease.

Mitokinin is based on technology discovered at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) by company co-founders Nicholas Hertz and Kevan Shokat.

Hertz and Shokat moved the company into MBC BioLabs San Francisco in September 2017 after a series A round led by Mission BioCapital.

The company is developing PINK1 targeted therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative and mitochondrial diseases.

Its lead PINK1 compound is designed to selectively increase the activity of the mitochondrial kinase PINK1, which is involved in repairing mitochondrial dysfunction and mutations.

Mitokinin’s approach identifies PINK1 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of Parkinson’s, as mutations in this kinase are associated with Parkinson’s disease progression.

"We're thrilled to be working with the world-class neuroscience team at AbbVie to bring our PINK1 programme forward," said Daniel de Roulet, co-founder and chief executive officer of Mitokinin.

"We look forward to executing on the collaborative research plan, and most of all, to developing much needed therapeutics for Parkinson's disease patients,” he added.

Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie will make an undisclosed upfront payment to Mitokinin, which will continue developing its PINK1 activator programme through completion of IND enabling studies of its lead compound.

AbbVie can then decide whether it would like to acquire the compound once the programme is ready to enter the clinic.

"It's a testament to the quality of our science and the strength of our scientific team that we were able to attract a partner of AbbVie's caliber," said Nicholas Hertz, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Mitokinin. "

“I'm excited to continue to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of our specific PINK1 targeting compounds and to push towards the clinic with the AbbVie team,” he added.

If AbbVie does exercise its option to license Mitokinin’s PINK1 asset, it will add a new candidate to its neurodegenerative disease pipeline.

in August 2020, AbbVie ended a partnership with Voyager Therapeutics, shedding a gene therapy for the treatment of Parkinson’s and vectorised antibodies for Alzheimer’s disease, respectively.

At the time, Voyager did not say why the collaboration with AbbVie had ended, disclosing only that it has regained full clinical development and commercialisation rights to certain candidates developed as part of the alliance.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

3rd March 2021

From: Research, Sales



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