AbbVie will develop and commercialize BioArctic’s portfolio of antibodies directed against α-synuclein for Parkinson’s disease and other potential indications through a collaboration whose value was not disclosed.
BioArctic, a Karolinska Development portfolio company, was founded in 2003 and focuses on developing treatments for central nervous system disorders.
The company’s Parkinson’s portfolio is led by BAN0805, a clinical-phase antibody targeting toxic forms of the α-synuclein protein. The company reasons that its candidate will deliver better results than current Parkinson's treatments, which are based are based on increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain—and can neither halt disease progression nor affect all symptoms of the disease.
BioArctic is also in discovery phases of developing a biomarker assay aimed at achieving an earlier diagnosis by measuring monomeric and toxic forms of α-synuclein, as well as monitoring the progression of the disease, and the response to drug treatment. In collaboration with Professor Lars Lannfelt, M.D., Ph.D., of Uppsala University, Bioarctic has launched a positron emission tomography (PET) program to detect protofibrils in neurodegenerative disorders using antibodies.
In its Parkinson’s treatment program, BioArctic collaborates with Uppsala University and other Swedish universities in Lund, Linköping, Gothenburg, and with Karolinska Institutet.
AbbVie markets Duopa® (carbidopa/levodopa), an enteral suspension that won FDA Orphan Drug approval last year and is indicated for treatment of motor fluctuations in advanced Parkinson's disease.
AbbVie is also in Phase III studies for a next-generation version of the drug Duopa NexGen, a combination system with a smaller, lighter infusion pump and other features designed for improved patient use.
In addition to Parkinson’s, BioArctic focuses on developing new treatments for other neurodegenerative diseases with large medical need, such as Alzheimer’s disease and spinal cord injury.