AbbVie has expanded its existing collaboration with Calibr at Scripps Research to advance the development of preclinical and early-stage clinical assets across its core therapeutic areas.

AbbVie’s core therapeutic areas in the collaboration include immunology, oncology, neuroscience, and other areas of interest.

Calibr (California Institute for biomedical research) is a non-profit translational research institute dedicated to next-generation medicines, affiliated with Scripps Research.

In 2019, AbbVie initially collaborated with Scripps Research to develop a wide range of potential new and novel therapeutics.

Under the expanded partnership, Calibr will present to AbbVie, several discovery targets and preclinical assets of mutual interest for option considerations.

AbbVie will provide Calibr with option payments over the research period of five years to obtain a first-exclusive option to develop and commercialise candidates.

Calibr will receive additional payments, including option exercise fees, and milestone payments, along with tiered royalties, after AbbVie selects a specific programme for further development.

AbbVie research and development senior vice president, chief scientific officer Thomas Hudson said: “We’ve made significant progress to advance rapidly many preclinical and clinical development programmes across the small molecule, biologics, and CAR-T modalities.

Calibr president and CEO Peter Schultz said: “AbbVie has been a trusted partner to Scripps Research for many years, as proven by our successful ongoing R&D collaborations spanning numerous disease areas that have yielded four clinical-stage programmes.

“This expansion represents an important step forward in our mission of translating scientific insights and discoveries into innovative, clinically validated drugs, and we believe it is a model for biomedical industry-non-profit R&D partnerships.”

In a separate development, AbbVie announced that the British Journal of Dermatology published results from the head-to-head Phase 4 IMMpulse study.

The Phase 4 study evaluated the efficacy and safety of Skyrizi (risankizumab) compared to Otezla (apremilast) in adult patients with plaque psoriasis eligible for systemic therapy.

Skyrizi is an interleukin-23 (IL-23) inhibitor that selectively blocks IL-23, a cytokine thought to be linked to several chronic immune-mediated diseases, by binding to its p19 subunit.

The Phase 4 IMMpulse study has met all the primary and ranked secondary endpoints with no new safety signals identified, said Abbvie.

AbbVie immunology global medical affairs vice president Mudra Kapoor said: “This study highlights the efficacy of Skyrizi compared to Otezla in helping systemic-eligible patients achieve high levels of skin clearance and reinforces the safety profile observed in previous studies.

“These head-to-head data are crucial to help patients and their doctors make informed treatment decisions for uncontrolled disease and add to the body of evidence supporting Skyrizi as a treatment option for adults living with moderate psoriasis.”