Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageGoogle and GSK team up for multimillion bioelectronics project

By Tim Sandle     Aug 2, 2016 in Business
London - Big name companies Google and GlaxoSmithKline have entered into a joint venture to develop bioelectronics. The emerging field is set to be the next big thing in health care.
Verily (a Google company) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are to spend around $712 million over the next seven years on a new venture called Galvani Bioelectronics. The new company will be based in the U.K.
Bioelectronics is an exciting new field. Bioelectronics is defined, according to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, is “the use of biological materials and biological architectures for information processing systems and new devices.” Bioelectronics involves the use of bio-molecular electronics, based on inorganic and organic materials.
The use of bioelectronics is not something ‘new’ in terms of the concept (although the term, together with acceleration of the technology, has only recently come into common use.) Defibrillators, for example, are well established and they are implanted at a rate of 160,000 per year in the U.S. These devices are used to restore proper electrical activity to diseased hearts. What is new is the rapid advance in technology that heralds a range of new possibilities for health care.
The new possibilities are centered on the management of chronic pain and with conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma. It is possible that micro-size devices (no larger than a grain of rice) could be developed and programmed to read and correct the electrical signals that pass along the nerves of the body.
It is due to the possibilities of developing a whole different approach to pain management, which does not involve the taking of drugs (especially medications that carry problematic side-effects), that big-name companies are now getting involved.
cafepharma (@cafepharma): "Q&A: Glaxo exec says bioelectronics venture with Verily is ‘not science fiction’: Stat."
GSK (@GSK): "Our new #bioelectronics co will fuse the skills of GSK scientists & Verily engineers to develop meds of the future."
With the new company — Galvani Bioelectronics — GSK will own a 55 percent equity interest and Verily will own 45 percent. GSK brings to the table knowledge of drugs and human physiology; Verily adds the latest research relating to low-power electronics. Verily is a subdivision of Google’s Alphabet company.
As to the name of the new company, “Galvani” refers to the 18th century Italian scientist Luigi Aloisio Galvani. Galvani is famous for the discovery, commonly carried out by school children around the world today, that frogs legs can be made to twitch by applying electricity.
In conversation with QMed, Moncef Slaoui, GSK’s chairman of Global Vaccines said: “Bioelectronic medicine’s vision is to employ the latest advances in biology and technology to interpret electrical conversation and to correct the irregular patterns found in disease states.”
The new company aims to have medical devices ready for regulatory approval by 2023.
More about Bioelectronics, Google, GSK, Glaxosmithkline, Alphabet
More news from
Latest News
Top News