Alphabet Inc’s Verily Life Sciences is forming a joint venture with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to invest $714 million in a new company called Galvani Bioelectronics, reports The Guardian. The joint venture will get access to GSK’s drug development and disease biology expertise, whereas Verily will provide miniature electronics, data and software for clinical purposes.
Galvani will have about 30 scientists, engineers and doctors to start with. GSK will work on interfacing devices with human nerves to figure out therapies. Google and GSK will combine their existing IP rights and invest $714 million over 7 years, provided that the entity meets its goals. GSK hopes to make bioelectronic treatment a viable option in the next 10 years. According to the report, GSK has invested $50 million in a VC fund for bioelectronics and funded scientists working in the field but outside its company.
Galvani will be based in the UK and San Francisco, USA and deal with bioelectronic medicine. Verily will own 45% while GSK will own 55% in the company. GSK’s chairman of global vaccines Moncef Slaoui will chair the Galvani board with Kris Famm, GSK’s head of bioelectronics and Verily CEO Andrew Conrad. Note that Google renamed its Life Sciences arm to Verily Life Sciences in December last year.
Health tracking wristband & diabetes detecting lenses:
In June 2015, Google created an experimental health tracking wristband which could be used in clinical trials and drug tests to measure pulse, heart rhythm skin temperature etc. but would not be a consumer facing device. In January 2014, Google was testing prototypes for a smart contact lens which would measure the glucose level in a person’s tears using a tiny wireless chip and glucose sensor. Find Verily’s other ventures here.
Google ‘Other Bets’ financials:
Alphabet Inc (formerly Google Inc) revenues from its Other Bets division which includes its fiber business, life sciences and X business (the company’s moonshot research and development division) stood at $185 million. Its overall net profit stood at $4.88 billion a rise of 24% from $3.93 billion in the same quarter last year.
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