Google launches life sci unit as standalone Alphabet company
The internet search giant established the life science team as part of its X lab research operation, tasking it with finding solutions to global health problems.
One of the unit's highest profile projects to date is its development of blood sugar monitoring contact lenses for diabetics in collaboration with Novartis.
According to a blog post by Alphabet president Sergey Brin last weekend, the standalone life science unit is also going to develop a nanodiagnostics technology capable of monitoring patient health from within the body.
“I am delighted to announce that the life sciences team is now ready to graduate from our X lab and become a standalone Alphabet company, with Andy Conrad as CEO. While the reporting structure will be different, their goal remains the same.
Brin added that: “They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing—and, hopefully—transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease.”
Life not death
However, while the life sciences unit will continue to try and develop solutions to big global healthcare challenges, it will not be directly involved in combatting what Google has previously identified as its major foe, namely death.
Google announced its intention to take on death last year, tasking a dedicated unit called Calico with developing ways of reversing the aging process.
Calico has already partnered with AbbVie and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to create treatments for age-related diseases.
The firm is already a standalone company under Google’s recently launched Alphabet structure and it will continue to operate separately from the life sciences unit.