GSK inks $2B deal to develop Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s drugs

July 5, 2021

GlaxoSmithKline is partnering up with U.S.-based Alector to develop antibody treatments for a number of neurodegenerative diseases.

Under the deal, Alector will pocket $700 million up front and be eligible to pull in another $1.5 billion in milestone payments.

The development pact is centered around two experimental antibody treatments that target progranulin, a protein involved in regulating immune activity in the brain and the survival of neurons. Research has linked mutations of the gene where progranulin is found to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but the two candidates are also being studied as treatments for ALS and a rare type of dementia. 

The tie-up comes as GSK continues to undergo a major transformation that involves spinning off its consumer health business and beefing up its pharma pipeline.

Last month, GSK also signed a deal with iTeos Therapeutics worth up to $2.1 billion to develop an antibody cancer treatment targeting the CD226 checkpoint, which the companies say is “a key target for next-generation immuno-oncology therapies.”