GSK announced an agreement with Verily Life Sciences LLC (formerly Google Life Sciences), an Alphabet company, to form Galvani Bioelectronics to enable the research, development and commercialisation of bioelectronic medicines.
Bioelectronic medicine is a relatively new scientific field that aims to tackle a wide range of chronic diseases using miniaturised, implantable devices that can modify electrical signals that pass along nerves in the body, including irregular or altered impulses that occur in many illnesses, according to a press release from GSK.
GSK has been active in this field since 2012 and believes certain chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and asthma could potentially be treated using these devices, the press release notes.
The new company will bring together GSK’s world class drug discovery and development expertise and deep understanding of disease biology with Verily’s world leading technical expertise in the miniaturisation of low power electronics, device development, data analytics and software development for clinical applications. Initial work will centre on establishing clinical proofs of principle in inflammatory, metabolic and endocrine disorders, including type 2 diabetes, where substantial evidence already exists in animal models; and developing associated miniaturised, precision devices, as the press release highlights.
This agreement is subject to customary closing conditions (including requisite antitrust approvals) and is expected to close before the end of 2016.