Alector (ALEC) - Get Alector, Inc. Report shares on Friday soared after GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline plc Sponsored ADR Report agreed to pay the clinical stage biopharmaceutical company as much as $2.2 billion to develop treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like ALS and Parkinson's.
Under the terms, Alector will receive $700 million up front from Glaxo and as much as $1.5 billion additional based on development milestones, profit-sharing and royalties, the companies said Friday.
At last check Alector shares were up 69% to $37.87 while GlaxoSmithKline was little changed at $40.18.
Besides amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- well known as Lou Gehrig's disease -- and Parkinson's, the collaboration will target frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's, the companies said.
Alector, South San Francisco, and GSK, the London health-care giant, will develop and commercialize two clinical-stage monoclonal antibodies designed to elevate levels of progranulin, a key regulator of immune activity in the brain, they said.
The companies are enrolling patients in a Phase 3 trial for one of the drugs in people at risk for or with frontotemporal dementia due to a progranulin gene mutation.
This is "a rapidly progressing and severe form of dementia [that's] found most frequently in people less than 65 years old at the time of diagnosis and has no approved treatments," the companies said.
The collaboration is subject to certain conditions, including antitrust review.
The therapies are part of a research field in which scientists are trying to use the body's immune system to develop treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.