Google X Life Sciences is now named Verily

By Jonah Comstock
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Google Life Sciences has finally gotten its new name as an independent company under the aegis of Alphabet: Verily. With the launch of a new website, the company has also clarified and cemented its mission: to bring different healthcare and technology stakeholders together to reinvent areas of healthcare.

"Imagine a chemist and an engineer and a doctor and a behavioral scientist, all working together to truly understand health and to better prevent, detect, and manage disease," Verily writes on its new site. "Picture a world in which technology and life sciences are not distinct, but partners with a united mission. At Verily, that’s the world we want to create. Our multidisciplinary teams have access to advanced research tools, large scale computing power, and unique technical expertise. We work with partners from across the industry and many fields of research to develop new technology, launch studies, and start companies. Our mission is to bring together technology and life sciences to uncover new truths about health and disease."

Andy Conrad will continue to serve as CEO of the newly rebranded company. Dr. Jessica Mega, who came over from Harvard Medical in May to head up the Baseline Study, will serve as Chief Medical Officer. The rest of the executive team includes Chief Technical Officer Brian Otis, Head of Engineering Linus Upson, Director of Software Tom Stanis, and Chief Science Officer Vikram Bajaj.

The Life Sciences team "graduated" from Google X back in August. As part of that transition, a Google spokesperson told MobiHealthNews, the company is shifting from a technology-centric to a disease-centric mindset, with diabetes as the first disease.

"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, with Andy Conrad as CEO," Google co-founder and Alphabet President Sergey Brin wrote in a blog post at the time. "While the reporting structure will be different, their goal remains the same. 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."

Verily projects that we know of include a glucose-sensing contact lens in partnership with Novartis subsidiary Alcon, a multiple sclerosis research project with Biogen, a "cancer sensing pill" powered by nanoparticles, and the Baseline Study, a major research project with Duke and Stanford. Lift Labs, the company that is developing smart eating utensils for people with Parkinson’s and essential tremor, has also been operating under the auspices of Google X life sciences since it was acquired last September.

More recently, the company has announced it was developing a wearable for clinical research and has partnered with both Sanofi and Dexcom on continuous glucose monitoring.

Stat has more on the connotations of the name itself. And check out the Verily's promotional video below.
 

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