AbbVie and BigHat Biosciences Announce Research Collaboration to Leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Discover Next-Generation Therapeutic Antibodies

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  • Collaboration to leverage BigHat’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) guided Milliner™ platform and AbbVie’s expertise in Oncology and Neuroscience to develop next-generation antibodies 
  • BigHat to receive $30 million upfront payment with potential for further milestone payments and royalties

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., and SAN MATEO, CA., Dec. 5, 2023 – AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) and BigHat Biosciences, today announced a research collaboration to discover and develop next-generation therapeutic antibodies in oncology and neuroscience. Working closely with AbbVie, BigHat will utilize its Milliner™ platform, a suite of machine learning technologies integrated with a high-speed wet lab, to guide the design and selection for high quality antibodies for multiple therapeutic targets.

“This collaboration further demonstrates our commitment to integrate AI/ML-based approaches in drug discovery and development, as we strive to accelerate our oncology and neuroscience pipeline, and deliver better medicines faster” said Jonathon Sedgwick, Ph.D., vice president and global head of discovery research at AbbVie. “We look forward to working with BigHat’s team to design novel antibody-based therapies that may help address persistent unmet needs faced by patients.”

"We are thrilled to collaborate with AbbVie, a global leader in driving innovation in drug development, and look forward to employing our Milliner™ platform to help design next-generation therapeutic antibodies,” said Mark DePristo, CEO, BigHat. “Milliner™ allows rapid optimization of multiple key parameters including functionality and developability, to help deliver complex antibodies with improved characteristics faster.” 

Under the terms of the agreement, BigHat will receive an upfront payment of $30 million and may be eligible to receive up to approximately $325 million in aggregate research and development milestones, with potential for further commercial milestones as well as tiered royalties on net sales.

About AbbVie

AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines and solutions that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas – immunology, oncology, neuroscience, and eye care – and products and services in our Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.

About BigHat Biosciences

BigHat Biosciences designs safer, more effective biologic therapies for patients using machine learning and synthetic biology. BigHat integrates a wet lab for high-speed characterization with machine learning technologies to guide the search for better antibodies. We apply these design capabilities to develop new generations of safer and more effective treatments for patients suffering from today’s most challenging diseases.

BigHat is a Series B biotech outside San Francisco with a team-oriented, inclusive, and family-friendly culture. Our pipeline of wholly-owned and partnered therapeutic programs focus on indications with high unmet need, such as cancer and inflammation. BigHat has raised over $100M from top investors, including Section 32, a16z, and 8VC. To learn more about us, visit and follow @BigHatBio on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some statements in this news release are, or may be considered, forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions and uses of future or conditional verbs, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of AbbVie's 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as updated by its subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. AbbVie undertakes no obligation, and specifically declines, to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.

AbbVie Contacts:


Jane Woo


Liz Shea

BigHat Contacts:


Elizabeth Schwarzbach