Bioelectronic medicine operates around using miniaturized, implantable devices, much like neuromodulation devices, designed to modify electrical signals through nerves for a variety of different effects, including pain relief and chronic condition management, the company said.
“This is an ambitious collaboration allowing GSK and Verily to combine forces and have a huge impact on an emerging field. Bioelectronic medicine is a new area of therapeutic exploration, and we know that success will require the confluence of deep disease biology expertise and new highly miniaturised technologies. This partnership provides an opportunity to further Verily’s mission by deploying our focused expertise in low power, miniaturised therapeutics and our data analytics engine to potentially address many disease areas with greater precision with the goal of improving outcomes,” Verily CTO Brian Otis said in prepared remarks.
GSK global vaccine chair Moncef Slaoui will chair the board of the new company, with GSK bioelectronic R&D veep Kris Famm set to take over as prez. Verily CEO Andrew Conrad is set to take a seat on the board as well.
“Many of the processes of the human body are controlled by electrical signals firing between the nervous system and the body’s organs, which may become distorted in many chronic diseases. Bioelectronic medicine’s vision is to employ the latest advances in biology and technology to interpret this electrical conversation and to correct the irregular patterns found in disease states, using miniaturised devices attached to individual nerves. If successful, this approach offers the potential for a new therapeutic modality alongside traditional medicines and vaccines. 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,” Slaoui said in a press release.
The company will be an almost even split, with GSK holding 55% of the equity in the company and Verily picking up the other 45%. The company is slated to be headquartered in the UK with the parent companies contributing IP rights and an investment of $712.7 million (UK £540 million) over 7 years.
Initial work will focus on creating clinical proofs of principle in inflammatory, metabolic and endocrine disorders, the company said, including type 2 diabetes.
The newly formed Galvani Bioelectrics is set to be headquartered at GSK’s R&D center at Stevenage, U.K. with a 2nd hub at Verily’s facilities in South San Francisco, and is slated to take on 30 employees initially.