Google’s Life Sciences group is making another big move to treat diabetes

Google smart contact lens

Google announced its plans to reorganise under the name Alphabet just three weeks ago.

Since then, it’s wasted no time getting its life sciences unit graduated from under Google X and prepped to join Alphabet as a standalone company.

Today, Google Life Sciences entered a partnership with Sanofi, a European pharmaceutical company, to develop technologies to treat diabetes.

The partnership reinforces Google Life Sciences interest in the disease. In the past, Google has started working on technology such as contact lenses that monitor glucose levels to find ways to make regulating the disease easier.

Diabetes affects 371 million people worldwide, a number that’s expected to increase to 552 million by 2030.

Paris-based Sanofi has been a leader in diabetes treatments. It currently makes a number of insulin medications along with devices to administer them.

Sanofi said in a news release that it’s interested in Google’s “analytics, miniaturized electronics and low power chip design.” Google has been developing smart contact lenses — a project that was announced back in January 2014 — that include a glucose monitor to keep track of blood sugar levels in the body. This sounds like handy technology for a company that mainly sticks with treatments to administer insulin, a chemical that regulates blood sugar in the body.

This isn’t Google Life Sciences’ first partnership with a major pharmaceutical company: They have been partnering with Novartis eye care division to make smart contact lenses, and Biogen to develop technologies to treat multiple sclerosis.

“With Sanofi, we can complete the picture of how diabetes unfolds and try to interrupt that development through a proactive and preventive approach,” Life Sciences’ CEO Andy Conrad told the Wall Street Journal.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the partnership.

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