GlaxoSmithKline and Google will partner for developing new bioelectronic medicines. The partnership will take the form of a joint venture, called Galvani Bioelectronics and it’s going to have a UK headquarter.
Galvani will receive funds of seven hundred and twelve million dollars over the next seven years. The first treatments will be ready for approval by 2023.
Bioelectronics is a new field of healthcare which looks at bringing together electronics and biology. The term is used for many alternative therapies, but GSK and Google want to create electrical implants to treat chronical diseases.
The working concept resembles a pacemaker. The device uses electrical energy to adjust the way the heart beats. Similar gadgets coul be used for chronical diseases, like arthritis, diabetes or asthma. Experts believe the prototypes will be the size of a grain of rice.
GSK has been eyeing the field for years now. In 2013 the company gave out a one million dollar prize for research in the bioelectronics field. Moncef Slaoui said that a lot of processes which take place in the human body are triggered by electrical signals which navigate from and to the body’s nervous systems and the organs.
In many chronic diseases, these processes are distorted. The new company, Galvani Bioelectronics gets its name from Luigi Galvani, an Italian scientist from the 18th century who made the first bioelectricity experiments. He animated frogs’ legs by using small electrical shocks. He is thought to have been the muse behind Mary Shelle’s science fiction novel, Frankenstein.
The newly formed company will hire 30 „scientists, engineers and clinicians” and it will have a second research hub in San Francisco. This surprising move will get the companies in the best position there is – market leaders and impacters of an emerging field. As bioelectronic heaalthcare is one of the newest areas of therapy exploration.
Glaxo will control 55% of the new company and Verily, which was formerly known as Google Life Sciences, will own the rest. Their brainchild aims to bring together Glaxo’s knowledge of development and discovery of drugs with Verily’s experimented approach in the miniaturization of electronics.
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