CAMBRIDGE, MA – June 9, 2021 – Caraway Therapeutics today announced an exclusive, collaboration and option agreement with AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) to develop and commercialize Caraway’s small molecule therapeutics targeting TMEM175, a potassium ion channel critical to lysosomal function implicated in both Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative disorders.
TMEM175 is a compelling target with strong genetic support. Loss of function mutations in TMEM175 are associated with reduced lysosomal efficiency in a subpopulation of PD patients, that can manifest as earlier age of disease onset or elevated risk of dementia relative to idiopathic PD. Under this collaboration, Caraway will continue to advance proprietary small molecule TMEM175 modulators, leveraging Caraway’s unique drug discovery platform and expertise in lysosomal biology and cellular clearance mechanisms, and combine with AbbVie’s expertise in disease biology, clinical development, and global commercialization.
“TMEM175 is a compelling genetically validated target for which Caraway has developed a promising drug discovery program. Collaborating with Caraway to advance TMEM175 modulators has great potential to fit with AbbVie’s efforts to develop transformative treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases,” said Eric Karran, Ph.D., Vice President, Neuroscience Discovery at AbbVie.
“We are delighted to partner with AbbVie on Caraway’s TMEM175 pipeline program for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders,” said Martin D. Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Caraway Therapeutics. “Variants in TMEM175 that reduce lysosomal function are highly prevalent genetic risk factors for the development of PD and evidence suggests that patients with reduced TMEM175 function tend to have earlier age of disease onset and increased risk of dementia. We are looking forward to collaborating with AbbVie to develop novel TMEM175 modulators and bring new hope to patients suffering from Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Caraway will receive an upfront cash payment of $17 million. After Caraway completes certain pre-clinical research and development activities for the collaboration program, AbbVie has an option to license the program and proceed into IND-enabling studies, clinical development, and commercialization.
Caraway is eligible to receive up to $267 million in payments, including upfront and future option payments, and development milestones. Caraway is also eligible to receive additional regulatory and commercial milestones, tiered royalties on global commercial sales, and has the option to participate in product development in return for higher royalty rates.
Caraway is a portfolio company of AbbVie Ventures.
About Caraway Therapeutics
Caraway Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company pursuing novel approaches for the treatment of genetically defined neurodegenerative and rare diseases. The company is a leader in the cutting-edge science of activating cellular recycling processes to clear toxic materials and defective cellular components by modulating lysosomal function. Caraway is utilizing its unique product engine with proprietary insights into lysosomal function and small molecule ion channel modulation to develop a robust pipeline of precision therapeutic candidates with disease-modifying potential for patients. The company is backed by top-tier investors, including SV Health Investors, AbbVie Ventures, MRLV Fund, Amgen Ventures, Dementia Discovery Fund, Alexandria Venture Investments and Eisai Innovation.
Caraway is based in Cambridge, MA. For more information, please visit www.carawaytx.com.
Kari Watson or Nicholas Chang