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Google is Developing ‘Bioelectronic Medicines’ to Try And Cure Chronic Illnesses

Their first target? Diabetes.

Charmaine CaparasAugust 1st 2016

Bio-Tech Collaboration

Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, is partnering with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop bioelectronic medicines that can “harness electrical signals in the body to treat chronic disease.”

The collaboration marries GSK’s pharmaceutical expertise with Verily’s prowess in developing tiny low power electronics. The unification will result in a new company called Galvani Bioelectronics, after Italian scientist Luigi Aloisio Galvani who was an early pioneer of bioelectricity.

The headquarters will be in the UK, with a second research hub in San Francisco. The Galvani Bioelectronics will focus on “research, development and commercialization” of bioelectronics. One of the first targets? Diabetes.

Image source: Financial Times
Image source: Financial Times

Start Small

Ultimately, the team is hoping to develop a “miniaturised precision devices” to treat “inflammatory, metabolic and endocrine disorders,” including type 2 diabetes. This is good news for the 422 million people suffering from the disease worldwide.

The plan is to start small and employ only about 30 scientists, engineers and clinicians, who can use treatments developed by both parent companies, academic institutions and other R&D companies. GSK’s chairman of global vaccines Moncef Slaoui be Galvani’s chairman of the board, that will also include Verily’s CEO, Andrew Conrad and GSK’s head of bioelectronics, Kris Famm. 

If all goes well, down the road, the team plans to try and tackle asthma and arthritis as well. More information will be forthcoming.

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