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Peninsula company gets $225M to fight Alzheimers

With a new collaboration and funding from AbbVie Inc., a young Peninsula company hopes to attack memory-robbing Alzheimer's disease in much the same way a new generation of cancer drugs are trying to eliminate tumor cells.

Alector LLC of South San Francisco will receive $205 million upfront and a potential equity investment of up to $20 million from AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) as part of a deal to research, develop and eventually sell drugs targeting dementia, particularly in Alzheimer's patients, the companies said Tuesday.

As the baby boom generation adds significantly to the number of people with Alzheimer's — by some calculations, the number of Alzheimer's patients in the United States will triple by 2050 from 5 million to 16 million — drug companies have been stymied in developing drugs for the disease. Just last month, former Medivation Inc. CEO David Hung's latest company, Axovant Sciences Inc., said its late-stage clinical trial to treat patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's failed.

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Written by Ron Leuty for San Francisco Business Times


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