Hal Barron's chase for genetic clues leads GlaxoSmithKline back to neuro — and makes new biotech partner $700M richer overnight
When GlaxoSmithKline R&D chief Hal Barron outlined his vision for the new GSK, he touted repeatedly how, digging through functional genomic datasets from partners like 23andMe and the UK Biobank, his team could see things that others can’t and propose or validate hypotheses in a whole new way.
And that can sometimes take them in a surprising direction.
GSK is dropping a whopping $700 million upfront to kickstart an alliance with Alector — the San Francisco biotech helmed by Genentech vet Arnon Rosenthal — that could spawn another $1.5 billion in milestones if the two antibodies at its center clear all tests in a range of notorious neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.
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