Google’s parent company Alphabet has made a major investment in developing new technologies for the millions of people across the globe living with diabetes. Alphabet has a life sciences arm—known as Verily—which announced, today, they are teaming up pharmaceutical giant Sanofi to fund and develop new joint effort they are calling Onduo.
Based in Cambridge, Mass, Onduo will focus on aiding clinicians—and their patients—to manage the chronic disease. Their main focus, at least at first, will be on caring for type-2 diabetes patients; the most common form of the condition, of course.
According to a statement from Sanofi “Onduo’s mission is to help people with diabetes live full, healthy lives by developing comprehensive solutions that combine devices, software, medicine and professional care to enable simple and intelligent disease management.”
Indeed, Sanofi Executive Vice President and Head of Global Diabetes and Cardiovascular Businss, Peter Guenter, shares, “The integration of multiple interventions, such as data-driven patient support and devices in addition to treatment, can help improve outcomes, which is important from the perspective of patients, healthcare professionals and the overall healthcare system.”
Accordingly, the new company will leverage Verily’s consistent experience in miniaturized electronics and analytics and consumer software development as well as Sanofi’s clinical experience and long-developed expertise in the development of diabetes treatment innovation.
The two companies forming Onduy have brought in the highly trained emergency medicine physician Joshua Riff—of United Healthcare-owned Optum—to act as CEO.
Regarding his role, he explains, “My experience as a physician and in leading consumer health initiatives has shown me the daily burden of living with diabetes.”
Riff also notes, “From monitoring food intake to testing glucose levels to actively seeking medical care, the challenges both on the physical and mental well-being of a person living with diabetes are incredibly difficult. We want to develop solutions that allow people living with diabetes to focus on the things they love and enjoy in life by providing tools to make dealing with their diabetes less burdensome.”
While not many specifics have been revealed as yet, both Alphabet (Verily) and Sanofi have plans to invest $500 million in this team effort. However, Riff also makes sure to mention that they plan to continue working on various aspects of diabetes including nutrition, physical activity, and quality of life that lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.