Friday, May 19, 2017

January Thaw: Aye, Verily!

"Google life sciences spinout raises $800 million in Asia play" by Meghana Keshavan STAT  January 27, 2017

Verily is amping up its expansion plan into Asia: The Google life sciences spinout said Thursday it’s getting $800 million from Singapore investment firm Temasek to broaden its commercial reach around the world.

Temasek, which set up an office in San Francisco last year, will gain a minority stake in Verily.

“Temasek has a history of thoughtful and enduring capital investments, including in life sciences and health care, and this commitment to a long-term collaboration with Verily is a meaningful affirmation of our strategy,” Verily chief executive Andrew Conrad said in a statement.

Indeed, the new deal could provide an early foothold for parent company Alphabet in China: Both Google, another Alphabet subsidiary, and Facebook have had tenuous relationships with the Chinese government, even as officials there assert both are welcome as long as they “respect China’s laws.”

 Isn't that true in any nation?

China, of course, is a burgeoning health care market — and many companies in the biopharmaceutical space have their eyes on expansion there. In the health care arena, Temasek has invested in biotech giant Gilead Sciences, life sciences equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific, and South Korean biosimilars manufacturer Celltrion — which also has plans to expand stateside.

Temasek has also invested heavily in telecommunication, financial services, energy, and other sectors.

Verily, once known as Google Life Sciences, is focused on the intersection of life sciences and technology. It has launched several high-profile projects and partnerships, including a miniaturized continuous glucose monitor, smart contact lenses, and electroceuticals. It also has a subsidiary, with Johnson & Johnson, called Verb Surgical, which aims to develop better robotic tools for surgeons.

The company has also confronted some skepticism....



What about patients like you?

"Chinese entrepreneur invests $100m in social networking site PatientsLikeMe" by Robert Weisman Globe Staff  January 05, 2017

PatientsLikeMe, a social networking site that allows people with similar medical conditions to share experiences and symptoms, said Thursday that it’s received an investment of more than $100 million — its largest ever — from a Chinese genomicist and entrepreneur.

Jun Wang, best known as the cofounder of the Beijing Genomics Institute, made the investment in Cambridge-based PatientsLikeMe in conjunction with his digital life company iCarbonX.

Under their agreement, the iCarbonX investors will take an unspecified equity stake in PatientsLikeMe, which will join several other iCarbonX-backed companies in the company’s digital life alliance.

The goal, according to a statement, is to “merge genetic, biological, and patient-generated data with sequencing and artificial intelligence technology to help people better understand the medical, behavioral, and environmental factors” that fight diseases and improve health.

PatientsLikeMe, which was opened to the public in 2011, says its network of users includes more than 500,000 people who have “generated 38 million data points” about thousands of diseases and conditions.


It's all a Jigsaw puzzle.

RelatedFour health insurers plan their next move The question now becomes what the companies will do with the large piles of cash they allocated for the acquisitions. Cigna, for its part, will have $7 billion to $14 billion of deployable capital.

They are not going to let the “surplus capital to sit around.” 

Now imagine if they poured all that "capital" into actual health care.

OMG, look at the time.


I'm already running late:

"The biggest drug firms have about $175 billion in cash stockpiled overseas...."

And the government is giving them even more?!!