Posted on August 3, 2016 by staff

GlaxoSmithKline & Google explore disease-busting implants


GlaxoSmithKline has partnered with Google’s Verity Life Sciences to explore the production of miniature implants capable of treating chronic diseases.

The British pharmaceuticals giant and Alphabet subsidary Verity, formerly Google Life Sciences, have formed Galvani Bioelectronics. GSK has a 55 per cent stake and Verity 45 per cent.

It has employed 30 scientists, engineers and clinicians at GSK’s Stevenage R&D centre and Verily’s base in San Francisco to research the the bioelectronic treatment of such conditions as arthritis, diabetes and asthma.

The giants plan to invest up to £540 million in the project over seven years.

“If successful, this approach offers the potential for a new therapeutic modality alongside traditional medicines and vaccines,” said Moncef Slaoui, GSK’s chairman of global vaccines.

GSK stated that electronic devices could help correct the irregular electrical patterns found in those suffering from chronic disease.

It has investigated bioelectronic medicines since 2012 while Verily has developed a glucose-sensing contact lens for diabetes sufferers, among other products.

We reported today how Scottish start-up Snap40 has created a tool which can ensure healthcare staff can easily identify high-risk patients, both at home and in hospital, and allow them to take potentially life-saving action sooner rather than later.

There are many other firms changing the face of healthcare with technology.

Qardio produces a range of healthcare monitoring devices allowing users to monitor their heart, blood pressure and weight.

Heart disease, one of the biggest killers in the UK, can be detected using Alivecor’s smartphone system which takes a 30-second ECG reading.

One key area is ensuring that patients are taking the medicines they’re prescribed – which is where eLucid mHealth comes in.

Skin Analytics is a tool which aims to improve the survival rate for melanoma skin cancer by providing users with a low-cost way to identify moles which could be cancerous.

Florence is a telecom-based tech is looking to reduce hospital admissions and keep people in their homes for longer.

Dublin-based start-up Beats Medical helps to improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s disease.

And Eva Diagnostics is a company whose aim is to revolutionise blood tests so they can be analysed without a hospital laboratory – potentially improving the lives of people undergoing chemotherapy.