Google-back Calico said Tuesday it will partner with the University of California institute QB3 to study longevity and age-related diseases, as well as create and foster an interdisciplinary community of scientists in those fields.
The four-year partnership is designed to generate discoveries that will translate into greater understanding of the biology of aging and potential therapies for age-related diseases. The partnership plans to identify, fund and support QB3 research projects focused on aging, using committed funding from Calico—which focuses on aging research and therapeutics.
Calico and QB3 have agreed to a broad sponsored research agreement intended to enable collaboration between the company and multiple QB3 labs on specific research programs related to aging, as well as a grant mechanism to support innovation in longevity research led by QB3.
Calico has the option to obtain exclusive rights to discoveries made under the sponsored research agreement.
“We are all aging, and we will all benefit from the discoveries made in this program and the therapies that will result,” QB3 director Regis Kelly said in a statement. “We are grateful to Calico for recognizing the deep expertise at the University of California that attracts so many scientists of exceptional ability.”
QB3—created in 2000 as the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences—is a public-private effort involving biopharma businesses and more than 250 scientists based at the University of California’s San Francisco (UCSF), Berkeley, and Santa Cruz campuses. UCSF’s Office of Innovation, Technology and Alliances helped arrange the sponsored research portion of the partnership with Calico.
QB3 has commercialized UC research through the launch of biotech startups across the San Francisco Bay Area—some of which have been funded through the QB3-affiliated Mission Bay Capital, an $11.3M seed-stage venture capital fund.
QB3 teamed up with Calico a week after the company launched a collaboration with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard that is intended to advance understanding of age-related diseases, and propel the translation of these findings into new therapeutics. In September 2014, Calico launched an up-to-$1.5 billion R&D collaboration with AbbVie to discover, develop, and bring to market new therapies for patients with neurodegeneration and cancer, as well as other age-related diseases.
Calico—an acronym for its formal name of California Life Sciences LLC—was founded in 2013 and is led by two former Genentech executives—Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., who served as the company’s chairman and CEO before its acquisition by Roche; and Hal V. Barron, M.D., Genentech’s former evp and CMO.