Galvani Bioelectronics will be headquartered in the UK (Photo courtesy: http://images.bidnessetc.com)
GSK announced an agreement with Verily Life Sciences LLC (formerly Google Life Sciences), an Alphabet company, to form Galvani Bioelectronics to enable the research, development and commercialisation of bioelectronic medicines. GSK will hold a 55% equity interest in the new jointly owned company and Verily will hold 45%.
Galvani Bioelectronics 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.
Bioelectronic medicine is a relatively new scientific field that aims to tackle a wide range of chronic diseases using miniaturised, implantable devices that can modify electrical signals that pass along nerves in the body, including irregular or altered impulses that occur in many illnesses. GSK has been active in this field since 2012 and believes certain chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and asthma could potentially be treated using these devices.
The agreement to establish Galvani Bioelectronics represents an important next step in GSK's bioelectronics research. The new company will bring together GSK's world class drug discovery and development expertise and deep understanding of disease biology with Verily's world leading technical expertise in the miniaturisation of low power electronics, device development, data analytics and software development for clinical applications. Initial work will centre on establishing clinical proofs of principle in inflammatory, metabolic and endocrine disorders, including type 2 diabetes, where substantial evidence already exists in animal models; and developing associated miniaturised, precision devices.
Moncef Slaoui, GSK's Chairman of Global Vaccines, who was instrumental in establishing GSK's investments in the field of bioelectronics, will chair the board of the new company. He said: