Internet giant’s latest foray into medical research will see it develop more accurate ways to track blood sugar levels
Google Life Sciences, part of the new Google Alphabet division established last month, is going into partnership with Sanofi to research new ways to treat and manage diabetes.
The collaboration aims to improve care and outcomes for people with diabetes, pairing the French pharma’s drugs with Google’s data analytics, miniaturised electronics and low-power chips.
"This initiative combines Sanofi's strength and knowledge in diabetes with Google's leadership in technology and analytics to create a first-of-its-kind initiative with the potential to transform diabetes care," said Olivier Brandicourt, chief executive of Sanofi.
Google said its technologies could allow doctors to know when a patient’s blood sugar is tracking high for days in a row or could offer new ways for diabetics to get real-time information and specific guidance about diet or insulin doses.
The companies did not say how much money they will invest in the partnership.
The collaboration advances Google’s move into the health sector. The company has been working with Novartis to develop contact lenses that allow diabetics to monitor glucose levels and has teamed up with medical equipment company Dexcom to build tiny glucose monitoring devices.
Diabetes is not the sole focus. At the start of the year Google said it would join Biogen Idec in studying the progression of multiple sclerosis.
There is also research underway on wrist-worn sensors which could diagnose cancers, impending heart attacks or strokes.
The life science research was hatched in Google X labs, the research unit which breeds exotic ideas such as Google Glass and self-driving cars.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin announced on 10 August the search giant’s life sciences operation would be spun out as an independent company under Google’s reorganisation into Alphabet.