Back to Press Releases
February 3, 2021

Calico and AbbVie Share Update on Early-Stage Clinical Programs

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, and North Chicago, Ill., February 3, 2021 – Calico Life Sciences and AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) today announced clinical-stage programs in two areas – immuno-oncology and neurodegeneration, currently in Phase I studies.  In addition, the companies are advancing a strong pipeline of novel targets that includes more than 20 active programs in discovery or preclinical development in age-related diseases.

The lead Calico immuno-oncology program is focused on PTPN2 inhibitors which act at multiple steps in the cancer immunity cycle.  There are two molecules currently in Phase I development, ABBV-CLS-579 and ABBV-CLS-484, both of which are novel, orally bioavailable PTPN2 inhibitors.  The two molecules are being developed by Calico in collaboration with AbbVie, with early biology and target discovery science critical to the early development of PTPN2 accomplished through a collaboration between Calico and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

The lead Calico neurodegeneration molecule (ABBV-CLS-7262) is an eIF2B activator which targets a key regulator of the highly conserved integrated stress response pathway. Inhibition of this pathway has therapeutic potential in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease and traumatic brain injury. ABBV-CLS-7262 is currently in Phase I studies with plans to begin a study later this year in patients with ALS.  ABBV-CLS-7262 is based on novel technology licensed from the lab of Peter Walter, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco.

“We believe that at the root of every great advance in medicine is a deep understanding of the biology that underlies a specific disease pathway. The quest for this depth of understanding has been our primary focus at Calico in the areas of aging and age-related diseases. Our approach requires patience, perseverance and great collaboration both internally and with external partners such as AbbVie and the Broad Institute, who not only share the same philosophy, but are able to execute upon it,” said Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Calico. “We are highly encouraged by the preclinical data we have seen with both our eIF2B activator and PTPN2 inhibitors, the latter representing a significant scientific advance as an orally bioavailable molecule for a target that has been considered undruggable in the past.  These are early days, but we are looking forward to potential proof-of-concept data from both programs.”

“Since embarking on our collaboration with Calico over six years ago, we have made remarkable progress in understanding challenging diseases,” said Thomas Hudson, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, AbbVie. “Calico has assembled a world-class team of scientists and collaborators who, alongside researchers from AbbVie, are discovering and developing drugs for truly novel targets that we hope will one day become transformative treatment options for patients.”

About AbbVie

AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

About Calico

Calico (Calico Life Sciences LLC) is an Alphabet-founded research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. Calico will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives.

To learn more about Calico, visit