GSK teams up with Verily Life Sciences for UK-based bioelectronics venture
GlaxoSmithKline is joining forces with a unit of Google's parent firm Alphabet to invest £540 million into a joint venture with headquarters in the UK.
The pharmaceuticals giant and Verily Life Sciences have agreed to create a new company known as Galvani Bioelectronics, which will focus on bioelectronic medicine.
GSK will own 55% of the venture and Verily the remainder, with Galvani's global R&D centre based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, and a second research hub in South San Francisco. It will initially employ around 30 expert scientists, engineers and clinicians.
GSK's chairman of global vaccines Moncef Slaoui said: "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.
"Together, we can rapidly accelerate the pace of progress in this exciting field, to develop innovative medicines that truly speak the electrical language of the body."
Bioelectronics seeks to treat chronic illnesses using tiny implants to change electronic signals that pass along nerves in the body.
The announcement comes less than a week after GSK pledged to invest £275 million in three plants in Britain, sweeping aside concerns about growth following the country's decision to leave the European Union.