Google, GlaxoSmithKline Partner For $715M Bioelectronic Medicines Firm

Image courtesy of Great Beyond

Most of us have used Google to find out more about existing medications, but the tech giant also has a life sciences division, which has now entered into a $715 million partnership with big pharma biggie GlaxoSmithKline to form a new company focused on fighting disease through technological innovations.

The new company, dubbed Galvani Bioelectronics, will combine Alphabet’s Verily Life Sciences — previously known as Google Life Sciences – with GSK to research and develop systems that can use electrical signals in the body to offset diseases, GSK announced Monday.

Galvani will be headquartered in the UK, but will operate a second hub in San Francisco. The new business will use the $715 million over seven years to create miniaturized, implantable devices that can modify irregular or altered electrical nerve signals that occur in many chronic illnesses.

Initial work will center on establishing clinical proofs of principle in inflammatory, metabolic and endocrine disorders, including type 2 diabetes, GSK says in a statement.

“This agreement with Verily to establish Galvani Bioelectronics signals a crucial step forward in GSK’s bioelectronics journey, bringing together health and tech to realize a shared vision,” Moncef Slaoui, GSK’s Chairman of Global Vaccines, said in a statement. “Together, we can rapidly accelerate the pace of progress in this exciting field, to develop innovative medicines that truly speak the electrical language of the body.”

Bioelectric medicine is a relatively new field that aims to take a wide range of chronic diseases. GSK has been working in the field since 2012, finding evidence that some conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and asthma could be controlled with the implantable devices.

“This is an ambitious collaboration allowing GSK and Verily to combine forces and have a huge impact on an emerging field,” Brian Otis, Verily’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “Bioelectronic medicine is a new area of therapeutic exploration, and we know that success will require the confluence of deep disease biology expertise and new highly miniaturized technologies.”

[via Reuters]

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