As part of its huge restructure into Alphabet, Google is spinning off its glucose-sensing contact lens and cancer-detecting pill projects into a new business.Google is putting more focus on one of Britain’s fastest growing technology sectors, biotech.
In London alone biotech has grown over 70% in the last decade, with 717 science and pharmaceutical businesses in the capital generating nearly £5bn in annual revenues between them.
Indeed London Mayor Boris Johnson has earmarked biotech for City Hall’s next big push, after successfully establishing the capital as a key European tech hub, with a proposed plan to create a £10bn ‘megafund’ to help small biotech businesses looking to do clinical testing.
Now search giant Google is promoting its Life Sciences biotech arm.
With projects like a glucose-sensing contact lens for diabetics and a cancer-detecting pill Life Sciences previously operated as part of Google’s experimental X Labs (along with its work on self-driving cars and drone deliveries).
But as part of the massive reorganisation that Google is about to undertake as it transforms its business into Alphabet, a new structure to split off these experimental side-projects from the core Google search and advertising business, Life Sciences is graduating from X Labs.
“I am delighted to announce that the life sciences team is now ready to graduate from our X lab and become a standalone Alphabet company,” Google cofounder Sergey Brin announced last night.
“They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing—and, hopefully—transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease.”
The newly independent group will be led by current Life Sciences project manager Andy Conrad, a molecular biologist who joined the X Labs project in 2013, now as CEO of the business.