JV to fo­cus on high-tech medicine re­search


Glax­oSmithK­line Plc, the UK’s big­gest drug­maker, is form­ing a joint ven­ture with Google par­ent Al­pha­bet Inc’s life-sciences busi­ness to re­search and de­velop bio­elec­tronic medicines.

Glaxo will hold a 55 per­cent stake in the ven­ture, called Gal­vani Bio­elec­tron­ics, and Al­pha­bet’s Ver­ily Life Sciences LLC will hold 45 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment on Mon­day. The com­pa­nies will make an in­vest­ment ofupto 540 mil­lion pounds ($715 mil­lion) over seven years, sub­ject to com­ple­tion of milestones.

Glaxo is seek­ing to find new sources of rev­enue growth as its block­buster res­pi­ra­tory treat­ment Ad­vair faces the threat of gener­ics in the US Bio­elec­tronic medicine is a new field that aims to tackle chronic diseases us­ing minia­ture, im­planted de­vices that mod­ify elec­tri­cal sig­nals that pass along nerves in the body. Glaxo’s re­searchers be­lieve con­di­tions like arthri­tis, di­a­betes and asthma could be treated us­ing th­ese de­vices.

Ver­ily aims to use tech­nol­ogy to de­velop soft­ware and hard­ware for the health­care field. It is one of Al­pha­bet Inc’s most im­por­tant newven­tures, re­sid­ing in the tech gi­ant’s Other Bets di­vi­sion along­side smart-home de­vice maker Nest and fast in­ter­net ser­vice provider Fiber.

In the sec­ond quar­ter, Other Bets gen­er­ated $185 mil­lion in rev­enue and Al­pha­bet Chief Financial Of­fi­cerRuthPo­rat said that mostly came from Nest, Fiber and Ver­ily, in that or­der.

Ver­ily has worked ex­ten­sively with tra­di­tional phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, such as de­vel­op­ing smart con­tact lenses that can mea­sure glu­cose with No­var­tis AG and help­ing Bio­gen Inc study the pro­gres­sion of mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis with sen­sors and data anal­y­sis tools.

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