Alphabet's Verily & GSK Partner In New Bioelectronic Venture

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As part of the wider restructuring which saw Google introduce a new parent company in the form of Alphabet, many of the Google-related subsidiaries began to see brand-changes as well. These ‘other bets‘ saw various changes to their level of independence and naming, with the likes of Google X becoming the more straightforward ‘X’, Google Ventures becoming ‘GV’and Google Life Sciences becoming ‘Verily Life Sciences’.

In terms of the latter, Verily, it seems one of the forward-thinking projects the company is now embarking on is the use of electrical currents to help combat and fight chronic illnesses. This is a fairly new and emerging science and one which is commonly referred to as the field of Bioelectronic Medicine. Today, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that they have teamed up with Verily to forward this technology in the form of a new joint company dubbed ‘Galvani Bioelectronics’. The new company will look to combine GSK’s expertise in drug development with the technical and electronic know-how of Verily. The general idea being that the two companies will work on miniature and low-powered devices which can be implanted into the body and send electronic signals to stimulate nerves or regulate irregular pulses. Working off the principle that degradation of these nerves and pulses as one of the contributing factors to chronic illnesses. By reestablishing the correct electrical pathway and intensity, the research will look to help offset some of those worn down or irregular signals. At first, the combined efforts will look to establish a clinical framework on select disorders include type 2 diabetes.

According to the details, Galvani Bioelectronics will primarily be based and operate from the UK, although the company will also make use of a San Francisco base as well. The newly formed company has been confirmed by GSK as split 55/45 with GSK owning 55-percent of the company and Verily owning the remaining 45-percent. Although, both companies will operate a 50/50 investment with the reported amount each company is investing as £540 million, as well as both companies bringing their existing intellectual property rights to the table. The agreement is still subject to final approval(s), although GSK notes that they expect the agreement to be finalized by the close of this year.

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