Nearly 400 million people are suffering from diabetes making it one of the most widespread diseases in the world. Without proper treatment or substantial changes in lifestyle, the numbers are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Verily Life Sciences (née Google Life Sciences) which was established several weeks back, has decided to bring a change in the monitoring and prevention of the diabetes disease.
Alphabet’s Verily and Sanofi to tackle diabetes care
The Verily Life Sciences department of Google comes under the parent company, Alphabet, which was established around 2 years ago. Recently this department stated that its first major focus is to work on the prevention of this disease. Google is known to have announced various inventions and collaborations to help in diabetes management like a health sensor. Healthcare devices are coming into existence, such as a glucose monitoring smart contact lens for diabetes and intraocular medical conditions. Another instance is a glucose monitoring device sensor about the size of a bandage which would enable the patients to check their blood sugar levels on their smartphones. This clearly shows Google’s interest in balancing new technological ideas with medical science so as to bring out products in the market which would assure accuracy with effectiveness.
Alphabet has collaborated with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi and the world’s largest diabetes research clinic, Joslin Diabetes Center. The Verily Sanofi deal has been finalized for $500 million. Alphabet’s team of around 150 researchers has begun rigorously working on this project without wasting much time. This joint venture will be led by Pascale Witz, who is the head of Sanofi’s Global Diabetes and Cardiovascular Care business.
A $500 Million Joint Commitment
The CEO of Verily Life Sciences, Dr. Andrew Conrad says that this collaboration is to combine expertise in medication, medical devises, software and computing infrastructure. Sanofi has experience in making insulin which controls blood sugar levels of the diabetics. By combining their expertise, Verily aims at producing a smaller, internet-connected device. This device could automatically suggest or adjust insulin dosages in accordance to blood-sugar levels or the patient exercise regimes prescribed by doctors. Doctors believe that tracking and managing one’s own blood sugar levels through diet, exercise and drugs is the key to treating diabetes. Such notable inventions will help in bringing down the diabetes levels.
Verily says this collaboration will bring together life science companies, medical device companies, academic researchers as well as patient advocacy groups. These experts would help evaluate and enable these new inventions with proper proficiency. Ultimately the companies will create a device that will combine multiple parts of diabetes monitoring into one system. This will take place with the help of sensor devices and information on medications, glucose levels and treatment pattern.
Notably, this collaboration ensures good profit for the both the companies. Mainly because Verily is eager to cash upon this product in the market. While on the other hand, Sanofi’s 21% revenue is generated from diabetic treatments. This adds up to around $38 billion, according to its 2014 report. Although, the companies haven't revealed how much capital has been invested in this project or how long it will last. However, the aim of the joint venture is to make it easier for patients to manage diabetes at a relatively lower cost.