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Google is making a big move to help treat diabetes

A new partnership sees it developing new technology that will help treat diabetes.

Last year, Google X announced it would be working on a smart contact lens that could keep track of glucose levels.
Last year, Google X announced it would be working on a smart contact lens that could keep track of glucose levels.
Image: Google

GOOGLE ANNOUNCED ITS plans to reorganize 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 living with 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 hormone produced by the pancreas that allows your body to use the sugar (or glucose) in the food you eat.

This isn’t Google Life Sciences’ first partnership with a major pharmaceutical company: They’ve 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.

-Lydia Ramsey

Read: There’s a major downside to jailbreaking your iPhone (if you’re thinking about it) >

Read: This smartphone chip could be a big help in the fight against bad apps >

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