Arthur Levinson, formerly of Genentech, has left Roche to avoid any potential conflict of interest in his role as chief executive of Google’s Calico start-up company. Calico recently agreed a $1.5bn alliance with AbbVie, a rival of Roche, to develop treatments for age-related disease. Levinson was appointed by Google last year to head this new biotech venture, having a mission to extend healthy lifespan.
Google’s Calico and AbbVie Collaboration (Reuters)
AbbVie Inc and Calico are each planning to invest $250 million on Calico research facilities and their collaboration on the discovery and development of new medicines.
Pierson, R. (2014). Google’s Calico, AbbVie forge deal against diseases of aging. [Online]: Reuters, September 3rd 2014.
More on Google’s Health Portfolio
Google has purchased Lift Labs, a biotech company which has developed a spoon designed to assist people with Parkinson’s Disease and other conditions involving tremor.
Google buys firm behind spoon for Parkinson’s patients. London: BBC Health News, September 11th 2014.
Possibly also of interest,
Kelion, L. [and] Gallagher, J. (2014). Google is developing cancer and heart attack detector. London: BBC Technology News / BBC Health News, October 28th 2014.
Google’s DeepMind / Royal Free Trust Data-Sharing Agreement
DeepMind, Google’s artificial intelligence division, has been granted access to patient information from the Royal Free, Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals in London. The aim is to use this data to develop an early warning system (the Streams app) for acute kidney injury (AKI). AKI is thought to be a contributory factor behind up to 20% of emergency hospital admissions (and 40,000 deaths per year in the UK); around a quarter of which cases may be preventable.
Wakefield, J. (2016). Google given access to London patient records for research. London: BBC Technology News / BBC Health News, May 3rd 2016.
Royal Free NHS FT and Google DeepMind Trial: Non-Compliance With Data Protection Law
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ruled that the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust and Google did not protect the privacy of patients sufficiently when it shared their data with Google DeepMind:
Google DeepMind NHS medical trial broke UK privacy law. London: BBC Health News, July 3rd 2017.
Powles, J. [and] Hodson, H. (2017). Google DeepMind and healthcare in an age of algorithms. Health and Technology. March 16th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].
Cellan-Jones, R. (2019). Google swallows DeepMind Health. London: BBC Technology News / BBC Health News, September 18th 2019.
AI for Health Programme
Microsoft has launched a $40 million five year “AI for Health” programme, to promote use of artificial intelligence in health. This is part of Microsoft’s $165 million “AI for Good” initiative.
The AI for Health programme, with partners including BRAC, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS), Novartis Foundation, PATH, and Seattle Children’s Research Institute, will focus on:
- Assisting medical research to advance prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.
- Improving understanding of mortality and longevity, and protection against global health crises.
- Reducing health inequalities and improving access to care.
Microsoft launches new $40m AI for Health. [Online]: HTN: Health Tech Newspaper, February 14th 2020.