The advance of Google and other tech firms into life sciences has given drug developers a new source of partners with complementary skills, but also raised an awkward question: Long term, are these companies allies or rivals? For Roche CEO Severin Schwan, the answer is still unclear.
Back in August, Sanofi and the Joslin Diabetes Center announced they would team up with Google for a patient monitoring collaboration aimed at helping people with diabetes better manage their condition. Now Joslin is flying solo for its latest project, planning to launch a trial of a mobile app for Type 1 diabetes patients.
Google is planning to give new businesses including its growing Life Sciences division ample breathing room as part of its reorganization, allowing the startups to run more independently as the tech titan rejigs operations and creates its parent company, Alphabet.
National Institute of Mental Health Director Dr. Tom Insel will soon leave the government sector to work at Google's life sciences team, dubbed Alphabet. In an interview with Fortune, he made it clear he's bullish on med tech.
Dr. Tom Insel has stepped down as director of the National Institute of Mental Health to join the life sciences team at Google. The coup formalizes the expansion of Google's focus into the detection, management and prevention of mental health disorders and gives it access to expertise Insel accrued while spearheading NIH programs such as the BRAIN Initiative.
Google is bringing on Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, to work for its burgeoning Life Science group and apply the company's technologies to mental illness.
Google is keeping up the pace of its push into diabetes. Having got the ball rolling by allying with Novartis in 2014, Google has now added Sanofi to its burgeoning list of diabetes collaborators.
Sanofi is lending its weight to Google's ambitions in life sciences, joining the tech giant's recently unleashed healthcare division in hopes of developing new technologies to help manage diabetes.
Google is teaming up with French drugmaker Sanofi for a diabetes monitoring collaboration, furthering the tech giant's foray into medical devices and its commitment to developing innovative products for the disease.
Google has just swept aside any lingering questions about how seriously it is taking its life sciences operation. Now, instead of operating as part of the experimental Google X, life sciences is to sit alongside the legacy internet search unit as one of a clutch of businesses operating under the Alphabet umbrella.