Through its representative in the field of medical science, Calico, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has forged a partnership with the renowned American drug manufacturer AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), the intention being to combat illnesses that arise due to ageing. This joint venture is poised at $500 million with each of the two companies investing $250 million and another $1 billion to be invested at a later stage.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Calico, meaning California Life Company, was created in 2013 and is currently being headed by Arthur Levinson, former CEO of Genentech and chairman of Apple. He was previously on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s board too and as the head of Calico it is his job to steer the research towards achieving breakthroughs in medical science that would prolong people’s lives. What it intends to do is identify genetic mutations that either prolong life or make a person vulnerable to illnesses.
On its part AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), an off-shoot of Abbott Laboratories, is expected to provide support in scientific and clinical fields and also look after marketing of drugs that are created. Some of its success stories include Humira, a drug for rheumatoid arthritis and Lupron which is meant for prostate cancer. Presently, it is believed to be engaged in many clinical trials of which 55 are active and 15 are based on investigation of cancers and tumors.
Research facility for the project is going to be located in the San Francisco Bay Area and it is Calico which is entrusted with the responsibility of creating new drugs and testing them over a trial period of 10 years to check their viability if distributed over a larger population. AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) will follow Calico’s research and apart from marketing, it has the free-hand to participate in advanced-stage trials too.
This partnership has created waves and Scott Strawn, IDC’s analyst, had this to say –
“It’s a drop in the bucket for Google, but they are seeking big outcomes by dramatically extending human life. These types of partnerships will be core to making this happen.”
Another research foundation, SENS, which is also engaged in developing therapies for fighting the effects of ageing, expressed itself through its spokesperson, Aubrey de Grey –
“This is a big leap into the unknown for AbbVie. Google is used to leaping into the unknown but AbbVie is not.”
But, on its part Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is attracting a number of research-heavy scientists for its venture and that in itself looks promising enough.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.