The Google-funded startup Calico, as with many of the tech-originating firms foraying into the life sciences, has a lofty goal: to tackle the spectrum of “aging-related” diseases, which encompasses everything from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s to cancer. While the outfit is notoriously cagey about its work, it’s certainly not shy about striking up partnerships.
The latest one came on Thursday afternoon, when the biotech C4 Therapeutics announced a five-year research collaboration with Calico to develop drugs for “diseases of aging,” including cancer.
There’s not a whole lot in the way of details. The firms will “leverage C4T’s expertise and capabilities in targeted protein degradation to jointly discover and advance small molecule protein degraders as therapeutic agents to remove certain disease-causing proteins,” according to a press release. In simpler terms, the firms wants to create medicines to sniff out proteins that may help cause cancers and destroy them.
“We know from decades of translational research that it can be incredibly challenging to find effective pharmacologic inhibitors of many of the biologically well-validated targets, particularly in cancer,” said Hal Barron, R&D chief over at Calico, in a statement. “Through the alternative strategy of specifically targeting such proteins for degradation, we believe we have the opportunity to identify promising new therapeutics in cancer and in other diseases as well.”
Beyond that, we know very little, including what other disease targets or specific cancers will be Calico’s and C4T’s focus as they pursue preclinical experimental molecules. Calico has previously struck partnerships with academic institutes like the University of California, San Francisco and biopharma companies such as AbbVie.
This essay appears in today’s edition of the Fortune Brainstorm Health Daily. Get it delivered straight to your inbox.