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Google, GSK teams up for bioelectronics venture

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Google, GSK teams up for bioelectronics venture

Google's parent company Alphabet is setting up a new "bioelectonics" venture with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
GSK will own 55% of the new joint venture, called Galvani Bioelectronics, while Alphabet's Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences) will own the rest.
The two companies will invest £540 million in the new UK-based business over 7 years, as well as contributing intellectual property rights to Galvani. Galvani will "enable the research, development, and commercialisation of bioelectronic medicines."
Moncef Slaoui, GSK's Chairman of Global Vaccines, says in a statement announcing the deal.
The release says that bioelectronics is "a relatively new scientific field that aims to tackle a wide range of chronic diseases using miniaturised, implantable devices that can modify electrical signals that pass along nerves in the body, including irregular or altered impulses that occur in many illnesses."
GSK has been involved in bioelectronics for 4 years and says it thinks diabetes, arthritis, and asthma could all potentially be treated using the new method.
The idea for the joint venture is that GSK can bring its drug and development expertise to the table, while Alphabet can contribute best-in-class tech and analytics.
The Google empire has been mounting a growing push into the world of healthcare in recent years. Google cofounded biotech R&D firm Calico in 2013 and spun out Verily Life Sciences last December. DeepMind, the London-based AI company Google bought in 2014, has also been developing tools for the NHS.
Galvani will initially employ 30 people and be headquartered at GSK's Stevenage base. It will have a second research facility at Verily's San Fransisco offices.

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