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AbbVie, Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals Agree to Terms on a Collaboration to Develop Advanced Therapies for Psychiatric Disorders


The joint venture aims to address unmet needs in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders through novel neuroplastogens.

Mental Illness List, Psychiatric Disorders. Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Olivier Le Moal

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Olivier Le Moal

AbbVie and Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals have announced a partnership focused on the development of therapies for psychiatric disorders. The collaboration seeks to leverage AbbVie's experience in psychiatry and Gilgamesh's research platform that focuses on neuroplastogens, which works to treat psychiatric conditions while minimizing adverse effects attributed to psychedelic compounds. According to the companies, the overall goal is to provide new opportunities in areas that haven’t provided manysolutions for patients with mood and anxiety disorders through the use of neuroplastogens.

Under terms of the deal, AbbVie is expected to focus on future development and commercialization activities, while Gilgamesh will receive $65 million as an upfront payment. Upon the completion of specific milestones, including option fees and tiered royalties on net sales, Gilgamesh could potentially receive up to $1.95 billion.1

"Significant unmet need remains for people living with psychiatric disorders and we know that to innovate in this field, we need to pursue novel technologies and approaches," said Jonathon Sedgwick, PhD, SVP, global head of discovery research, AbbVie, in a press release. "We look forward to working with Gilgamesh's world-class team to advance the development of novel neuroplastogens and pave the way for additional treatment approaches in psychiatry."

AbbVie and Gilgamesh aren’t the only teams working on neuroplastogens. Yesterday, Delix Therapeutics announced data from a Phase 1 trial for DLX-001, a neuroplastogen for antidepressant, structural, and functional plasticity assays. Additionally, DLX-001 displayed no psychotomimetic, hallucinatory, or dissociative effects. Delix also presented data suggesting that DLX-001 could potentially provide promising therapeutic effects compared to ketamine, psilocybin, and DMT due to no hallucinogenic liability.2

“Building on interim results presented at ACNP in December, we are encouraged by DLX-001’s favorable safety and tolerability profile to date, as well as time- and dose-dependent effects observed on quantitative EEG,” said Aaron Koenig, MD, chief medical officer, Delix Therapeutics, in a press release. “These results, coupled with a continued lack of hallucinogenic, psychotomimetic, or dissociative effects as we approach the end of this first-in-human study, reinforce our belief that DLX-001 has the potential to address significant unmet needs for patients suffering from [major depressive disorder] and related disorders.”

Last month, Seaport Therapeutics announced its official launch, with an oversubscribed Series A funding of $100 million. Aiming to advance neuropsychiatric medicines, the company will utilize its Glyph Technology Platform to create new medicines building on clinically validated mechanisms. Among Seaport’s pipeline is SPT-348, a non-hallucinogenic neuroplastogen in development for the treatment of mood and other neuropsychiatric disorders.3

"We are thrilled to partner with AbbVie, a global pharmaceutical company focused on innovation in psychiatric care, to address the pressing challenges in mental health treatment," said Jonathan Sporn, MD, CEO, Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals, in the press release. "Our collaboration will pioneer research of a new generation of therapies that hold great potential for improving patient outcomes."


1. AbbVie and Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals Announce Collaboration and Option-to-License Agreement to Develop Next-Generation Therapies for Psychiatric Disorders. AbbVie. May 13, 2024. Accessed May 14, 2024. https://news.abbvie.com/2024-05-13-AbbVie-and-Gilgamesh-Pharmaceuticals-Announce-Collaboration-and-Option-to-License-Agreement-to-Develop-Next-Generation-Therapies-for-Psychiatric-Disorders

2. Delix Announces DLX-001 Demonstrates Evidence of CNS Penetration and Brain Activity Without Psychotomimetic, Dissociative, or Hallucinogenic Effects in Ongoing Phase 1 Trial. BusinessWire. May 13, 2024. Accessed May 14, 2024. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240513298581/en/Delix-Announces-DLX-001-Demonstrates-Evidence-of-CNS-Penetration-and-Brain-Activity-Without-Psychotomimetic-Dissociative-or-Hallucinogenic-Effects-in-Ongoing-Phase-1-Trial

3. Seaport Therapeutics Launches with $100 Million Oversubscribed Series A Financing Round to Advance Novel Neuropsychiatric Medicines. Seaport Therapeutics. April 9, 2024. Accessed May 14, 2024. https://seaporttx.com/press-release/seaport-therapeutics-launches-with-100-million-oversubscribed-series-a-financing-round-to-advance-novel-neuropsychiatric-medicines/

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