GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) and Google parent Alphabet’s life sciences unit have teamed up to establish a new venture to develop electronic implants for the treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma, the London-listed group has said. The move comes after GSK unveiled last week that it would invest £275 million the UK despite the country’s vote to leave the European Union.
GSK’s share price has been steady in today’s session, having added 0.33 percent to 1,693.50p as of 13:33 BST. The group’s shares are outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which has slipped marginally into the red and currently stands 0.31 percent lower at 6,703.28 points. The pharmco’s shares have gained more than 21 percent over the past year, and are up by some 23 percent in the year-to-date.
GSK announced in a statement today that it had inked a deal with Alphabet’s Verily Life Sciences to form Galvani Bioelectronics to enable the research, development and commercialisation of bioelectronic medicines. The UK group will hold a 55-percent equity interest in venture, while Verily will hold the balance. The new company will be headquartered in the UK, with the parent companies contributing existing intellectual property rights and an investment of up to £540 million over seven years, subject to successful completion of various discovery and development milestones.
“This agreement with Verily to establish Galvani Bioelectronics signals a crucial step forward in GSK’s bioelectronics journey, bringing together health and tech to realise a shared vision of miniaturised, precision electrical therapies,” Moncef Slaoui, GSK’s Chairman of Global Vaccines who will chair the board of the news company, said in the statement.
Kris Famm, GSK’s head of bioelectronics research and president of Galvani, meanwhile told Reuters that the first bioelectronic medicines using these implants to stimulate nerves could be submitted for regulatory approval by around 2023.