GSK And Alector Announce Global Collaboration In Immuno-neurology
GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and Alector (Nasdaq: ALEC), today announced a strategic global collaboration for the development and commercialisation of two clinical-stage, potential first-in-class monoclonal antibodies (AL001 and AL101) designed to elevate progranulin (PGRN) levels. PGRN is a key regulator of immune activity in the brain with genetic links to multiple neurodegenerative disorders, making it one of the most attractive genetically validated targets for the development of new immuno-neurology treatments.
The collaboration brings together Alector’s leading immuno-neurology expertise with GSK’s R&D focus on the science of the immune system and human genetics, proven late-stage drug development capabilities and global footprint. Enrolment is currently underway for a pivotal Phase 3 trial for AL001 in people at risk for or with frontotemporal dementia due to a progranulin gene mutation (FTD-GRN). FTD-GRN is a rapidly progressing and severe form of dementia found most frequently in people less than 65 years old at the time of diagnosis and has no approved treatments. AL001 is also currently in a Phase 2 study in symptomatic FTD patients with a mutation in the C9orf72 gene and is planned to enter Phase 2 development for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the second half of 2021. AL101 is in a Phase 1a clinical trial and is designed to treat patients suffering from more prevalent neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr Hal Barron, Chief Scientific Officer and President R&D, GSK, said: "Our focus on human genetics and the science of the immune system gives us unique insights into the potential of targets such as progranulin to help patients with a number of neurodegenerative diseases. Working with Alector’s world class scientists will allow us to investigate the potential of these immuno-neurology therapies to help patients with frontotemporal dementia, a devastating disease without any currently approved treatments, as well as explore the ability to help patients with other neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s."
Arnon Rosenthal, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Alector, said: "This transformative collaboration brings together Alector’s leading immuno-neurology expertise with GSK's commitment to immunology and human genetics, proven drug development capabilities and global footprint, to help expand and accelerate the development of our progranulin franchise into large indications, while bolstering the build out of our own late-stage development and commercial capabilities. Importantly, this collaboration is designed to fully support AL001 and AL101's development and to enable Alector to continue building a fully integrated company as we strive to address the high unmet medical need in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. We are confident that GSK’s extensive experience launching ground-breaking medicines at the intersection of immunology and human genetics, will ensure that AL001 and AL101 are developed to their full potential."
As part of the recent Investor Update day on 23 June 2021, GSK committed to an R&D approach focused on maximising opportunities by leveraging an increased understanding of the science of the immune system and human genetics. The collaboration with Alector on AL001 and AL101, two antibodies designed to elevate PGRN levels and potentially slow the progression of FTD and other neurological disorders, provides GSK access to a promising clinical programme in immuno-neurology.
Terms of the Collaboration
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Alector will receive $700 million in upfront payments. In addition, Alector will be eligible to receive up to an additional $1.5 billion in clinical development, regulatory and commercial launch-related milestone payments.
Alector will lead the global clinical development of AL001 and AL101 through Phase 2 proof-of-concept. Thereafter, Alector and GSK will share development responsibilities for all late-stage clinical studies for AL001 and AL101 and all costs for global development will be divided between the two companies.
The companies will be jointly responsible for commercialisation in the U.S. and will share profits and losses. Alector will lead commercial efforts associated with AL001 in orphan indications and GSK will lead the commercialisation of AL101 in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Outside the U.S., GSK will be responsible for commercialisation of AL001 and AL101 and Alector will be eligible for tiered royalties.
The collaboration agreement is conditional upon customary conditions including review by the appropriate regulatory agencies under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.