Sanofi, a French multinational pharmaceutical company, and Verily Life Sciences LLC (formerly Google Life Sciences), Alphabet’s U.S.-based company devoted to the study of life sciences, recently announced the launch of Onduo, a joint venture created through collaboration between the two companies in diabetes treatment. Bloomberg and Reuters reported that Sanofi is inventing $248 million in the joint venture, and Verily the equivalent amount.
According to the announcement by Sanofi and Verily, Onduo will “leverage Verily’s experience in miniaturized electrics, analytics, and consumer software development, and Sanofi’s clinical expertise and experience in brining innovative treatments to people living with diabetes.” The announcement also mentioned that Onduo will initially focus on the type 2 diabetes community, specifically on “developing solutions that could help people make better decisions about their day to day health, ranging from improved medication management to improved habits and goals.”
Stefan Oelrich, head of diabetes at Sanofi, said to the Wall Street Journal that the collaboration between Verily and Sanofi could yield a new product much faster than traditional drug development. He expected Onduo to launch its first product within 2 to 3 years, compared to the roughly 10 years it takes to develop a new medicine.
The joint venture came out about a year after Sanofi and Verily agreed to collaborate to improve care and outcomes for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Onduo is one of many joint ventures that Verily have created in collaboration with other major pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Galvani Bioelectronics, a joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Verb Surgical, a joint venture with Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon.
Sanofi and Verily appointed Joshua Riff, formerly a senior vice president of prevention and well-being at UnitedHealth Group’s Optum, as the chief executive officer of Onduo. The joint venture is based in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.