Google Calico, and drug giant AbbVie, sign a $1 billion deal to back antiaging drug development

Nearly 4 years after AbbVie and Google’s fledgling Calico stepped up to the altar of drug science and committed themselves to a $1.5 billion partnership on developing a pipeline of anti-aging drugs, they’ve decided to renew their vows.
And this time they’re backing it up with a joint $1 billion pledge, $500 million each, to keep the alliance going for some years to come, with an eye to slowly stepping up the relationship in a move toward the clinic. In a rare public display of affection, the two companies are touting the advance of more than two dozen late discovery projects, with a special focus on cellular stress that they believe has some profound long term implications for human health. 
But that’s about it. If they are working on a revolution in drug development aimed at putting more life into lengthy spans of living, don’t expect any claims along the way about curing cancer, or diabetes or arthritis in mice. This new deal extends their first pact by three years, with Calico responsible for research and early development until 2022. The Google-backed biotech will take projects through Phase IIa over the next nine years, with an option on managing late-stage efforts and commercialization.
Press execs on what they’ve been working on, though, and you get pointed to a long lineup of papers Calico has published on their work, but no specifics on the most promising targets in their chosen field. How about the budget? Did they spend the $1.5 billion?
“We’re not going to be specific about molecular targets,” says Calico’s Bob Cohen, a Genentech vet and cancer specialist. “It hasn’t been in our nature to hype about what we have.”