Google Doubles Down On Health, Separates Out Experimental Life Sciences Division

By Jennifer BootonMarketWatch Pulse

Google Inc. has separated its experimental life sciences division, currently developing next-generation health products in the nanodiagnostics space such as glucose-reading smart contact lenses, into a separate entity under its newly-developed umbrella company, Alphabet. The life sciences group graduates from Google's moonshots laboratory, Google X. While the reporting structure will be different, the business will continue to be run by long-standing chief executive, Andy Conrad, and continue to focus on developing technologies that make health more proactive. It will partner with other life sciences companies as well, to move medical devices from early stage research and development to clinical testing. An example of that was last week, when Google announced a partnership with DexCom, an established maker of continuous glucose monitoring systems, to develop a bandage-sized disposable patch for patients with diabetes. "3 years ago we embarked on a project to put computing inside a contact lens," said Google co-founder and Alphabet President Sergey Brin. "I could not have imagined the potential of the initiative it has grown into." Shares of Google fell 0.7% to $674.45 in premarket trade. They have risen 22% over the last three months, outperforming the S&P 500, which is down 4.5%.

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