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

The Internet giant is set to take on aging and illness


BRIAN WOMACK
September 19, 2013 2:01AM (UTC)

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.

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“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.

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.

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--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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