Sanofi, Google parent in
$500 million diabetes joint venture
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[September 12, 2016]
PARIS (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi and
Google owner Alphabet's life sciences firm Verily are to invest about
$500 million in a diabetes joint venture combining devices with
services, an example of growing ties between the pharma and tech
Sanofi, which made the announcement on Monday, said last year it was
working on a partnership with Google in diabetes.
"The company will leverage Verily's experience in miniaturized
electronics, analytics, and consumer software development, with
Sanofi's clinical expertise and experience in bringing innovative
treatments to people living with diabetes," the two companies said
in a statement on Monday.
The Sanofi deal comes just after a month after British drugmaker
GlaxoSmithKline and U.S.-based Verily - formerly Google Life
Sciences - created a new company focused on fighting diseases by
targeting electrical signals in the body, jump-starting a novel
field of medicine called bioelectronics.
Nearly 400 million people worldwide have diabetes, with the type 2
version accounting for more than 90 percent of cases. Without proper
treatment or lifestyle changes, those numbers are expected to grow
substantially in the coming years.
The JV, called Onduo, "will initially focus on the type 2 diabetes
community, specifically on developing solutions that could help
people make better decisions about their day-to-day health, ranging
from improved medication management to improved habits and goals,"
Sanofi and Verily said.
A spokeswoman for Sanofi said products on sale would include
connected objects such as insulin pens and online services.
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She said Sanofi had invested $248 million in the joint venture, in
which the French group controls a 50 percent stake.
The French group is working hard to revive declining sales in its
diabetes division, hurt by sustained pricing pressure in the United
States, the world's largest health market.
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont and Andrew Callus; Editing by Greg
Mahlich and Geert De Clercq)
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