AbbVie Germany and EMBL announce new collaboration to better understand Alzheimer’s disease mechanism

HEIDLBERG and LUDWIGSHAFEN, August 14, 2017 – AbbVie Germany, a local affiliate of a global biopharmaceutical company and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Europe’s flagship laboratory in life sciences, today announced a 2-year collaboration in the field of neurosciences with the aim to advance research and discovery in Alzheimer’s disease. “This devastating illness represents a formidable challenge at multiple levels for our society from patients to care givers. As a research-based pharmaceutical company, AbbVie is committed to find novel approaches that hold the promise of next generation drugs for Alzheimer’s disease”, says Viktor Lakics, principal scientist, representing AbbVie Germany in the collaboration. “This partnership will significantly increase our understanding of how ApoE, the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease, contributes to this so far incurable condition.”

Together, AbbVie Germany and the Gavin group at EMBL, plan to advance understanding of the precise mechanisms that lead to Alzheimer’s disease. “This partnership fruitfully combines AbbVie’s expertise in neurosciences with the methods, assays and expertise that we have built in my group over the past decade”, says EMBL group leader Anne-Claude Gavin, senior scientist and principal investigator for the collaboration. “I am very excited about this project. Joining our forces in Alzheimer’s research will advance science in the field and at the same time potentially pave the way for novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches.” Gavin’s group studies protein lipidation, lipid transport and the effect of membrane lipid composition on binding and signalling in yeast and other organisms. In the collaboration, the group will apply its knowledge of lipid biology and use proprietary platform technologies to characterise human ApoE in healthy and disease states.

We have always strived to build long-term relationships with our industrial/commercial partners and to engage them early on

Gàbor Lamm, Managing Director, EMBLEM

Discussion around the project started at one of the ‘EMBL-Company Days’, a series of one-day events initiated by EMBL Enterprise Management Technology Transfer GmbH (EMBLEM), the commercial arm of EMBL, to synergise EMBL’s ground-breaking science, platforms and technologies with selected industry partners. “We have always strived to build long-term relationships with our industrial/commercial partners and to engage them early on” says Dr. Gábor M. Lamm, managing director EMBLEM. “This project is a perfect example of how such a strategy pays off.”

About AbbVie

AbbVie is a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. AbbVie is represented in Germany with headquarters in Wiesbaden and a research and manufacturing site in Ludwigshafen. In total, AbbVie Germany has about 2600 employees. For more information about AbbVie, please visit www.abbvie.com.

About EMBL

EMBL is Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences. We are an intergovernmental organisation established in 1974 and are supported by over 20 member states.
EMBL performs fundamental research in molecular biology, studying the story of life. We offer services to the scientific community; train the next generation of scientists and strive to integrate the life sciences across Europe.
We are international, innovative and interdisciplinary. We are more than 1600 people, from over 80 countries, operating across five sites in Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Heidelberg (Germany), Hinxton (UK) and Rome (Italy). Our scientists work in independent groups and conduct research and offer services in all areas of molecular biology.
Our research drives the development of new technology and methods in the life sciences. We work to transfer this knowledge for the benefit of society.

About EMBL Enterprise Management Technology Transfer GmbH

EMBLEM, established in 1999, identifies, protects and commercializes the intellectual property developed in the EMBL world, from EMBL alumni and from non-EMBL third parties. EMBLEM facilitates and accelerates the transfer of innovative technology from basic research to industry by working closely with industrial partners spanning the biotech, IT and mechanical/electrical engineering markets.

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