Google launches new company to focus on health and well-being

The Internet giant is set to take on aging and illness

Topics: Google, Health, Bloomberg, , , , ,

Google launches new company to focus on health and well-being

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) — Google Inc., operator of the world’s most-popular search engine, is investing in a new company focused on health and well-being.

The business, called Calico, will address the challenge of aging and associated diseases, Google said in a blog posting on its website. The venture will be led by Arthur Levinson, chairman of Roche Holding AG’ Genentech unit.

“Illness and aging affect all our families,” Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page said in the posting. “With some longer term, moonshot thinking around health care and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.”

Google is stepping up investments in areas outside its core online advertising and consumer-services business. The search provider has already put money into health-related companies through its venture arm, called Google Ventures, among other sectors. The Mountain View, California-based company has also worked on longer-term bets through a research unit that’s unveiled plans for computerized eyeglasses and driverless cars.

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Levinson, who is also a founding investor in Calico, will remain a director of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. as well as chairman of Apple Inc. Google’s announcement didn’t include any details on the size of the new health-care company or the scope of the investment.

–Editors: Reed Stevenson, Pui-Wing Tam

To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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