NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. and
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV)
and Harvard University today announced
a $30 million collaborative research
alliance, launching a multi-pronged effort at Harvard Medical School (HMS) to study and
develop novel therapies against emergent viral infections, with a
focus on those caused by coronaviruses and by viruses that lead to
This collaboration aims to rapidly integrate fundamental biology
into the preclinical and clinical development of new therapies for
viral diseases that address a variety of therapeutic modalities.
HMS has led several large-scale, coordinated research efforts
launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A key element of having a strong R&D organization is
collaboration with top academic institutions, like Harvard Medical School, to develop therapies for
patients who need them most," said Michael
Severino, M.D., Vice Chairman and President, AbbVie. "There
is much to learn about viral diseases and the best way to treat
them. By harnessing the power of collaboration, we can develop new
therapeutics sooner to ensure the world is better prepared for
future potential outbreaks."
"The cataclysmic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us how
vital it is to be prepared for the next public health crisis and
how critical collaboration is on every level—across disciplines,
across institutions, and across national boundaries," said
George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D., dean
of Harvard Medical School.
"Harvard Medical School, as the nucleus
of an ecosystem of fundamental discovery and therapeutic
translation, is uniquely positioned to propel this transformative
research alongside allies like AbbVie."
AbbVie will provide $30 million
over three years and additional in-kind support leveraging AbbVie's
scientists, expertise and facilities to advance collaborative
research and early-stage development efforts across five program
areas tat address a variety of therapeutic modalities:
- Immunity and immunopathology—Study of the fundamental
processes that impact the body's critical immune responses to
viruses and identification of opportunities for therapeutic
Led by Uli Von Andrian, M.D.,
Mallinckrodt Professor of Immunopathology in the Blavatnik
Institute at HMS and Program Leader of Basic Immunology at the
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and
Harvard; and by Jochen Salfeld,
Ph.D., Vice President, Immunology and Virology Discovery at
- Host targeting for antiviral therapies—Development of
approaches that modulate host proteins in an effort to disrupt the
life cycle of emergent viral pathogens.
Led by Pamela Silver, Ph.D., Elliot
T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology
in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS; and by Steve Elmore, Ph.D., Vice President, Drug
Discovery Science and Technology at AbbVie.
- Antibody therapeutics—Rapid development of therapeutic
antibodies or biologics against emergent pathogens, including
SARS-CoV-2, to a preclinical or early-clinical stage.
Led by Jonathan Abraham, MD, PhD,
Assistant Professor of Microbiology in the Blavatnik Institute at
HMS; and by Jochen Salfeld, Ph.D.,
Vice President, Immunology and Virology Discovery at AbbVie.
- Small molecules—Discovery and early-stage development of
small-molecule drugs that would act to prevent replication of known
coronaviruses and emergent pathogens.
Led by Mark Namchuk, PhD, Executive
Director of Therapeutics Translation at HMS and Senior Lecturer of
Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in the Blavatnik
Institute at HMS; and by Steve
Elmore, Ph.D., Vice President, Drug Discovery Science and
Technology at AbbVie.
- Translational development—Preclinical validation,
pharmacological testing, and optimization of leading approaches, in
collaboration with Harvard-affiliated hospitals, with program leads
to be determined.
AbbVie's mission is to discover and
deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today
and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a
remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic
areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology,
women's health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and
services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more
information about AbbVie, please visit us
Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
About Harvard Office of
Harvard's Office of Technology
Development (OTD) promotes the public good by fostering innovation
and translating new inventions made at Harvard
University into useful products that are available and
beneficial to society. Our integrated approach to technology
development comprises sponsored research and corporate alliances,
intellectual property management, and technology commercialization
through venture creation and licensing. To further bridge the
academic-industry development gap, Harvard OTD manages the
Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator and the Physical Sciences &
Engineering Accelerator. For more information, please visit
About Harvard Medical
School has more than 11,000 faculty working in the 11
basic and social science departments comprising the Blavatnik
Institute and at the 15 Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals and
research institutes: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge Health
Alliance, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Institute, Hebrew SeniorLife, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker
Children's Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research
Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, Mount
Auburn Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and VA Boston