Google's parent company Alphabet Inc.'s Verily Life Sciences LLC and French drugmaker Sanofi are teaming up for a new joint venture (JV) that aims to tackle diabetes.

As part of the JV, both Verily and Sanofi intend to invest nearly $500 million to leverage research and services in the area of diabetes, even as projections for people suffering from the disease are set to increase.

On Monday, Sept. 12, Sanofi announced the JV, dubbed Onduo, and revealed that it had been working since last year on a collaboration with Google in the area of diabetes.

"The company will leverage Verily's experience in miniaturized electronics, analytics, and consumer software development, with Sanofi's clinical expertise and experience in bringing innovative treatments to people living with diabetes," said Sanofi.

Onduo will persevere to assist individuals who suffer from diabetes to lead a healthy and fuller life by creating "comprehensive solutions" that will deploy medicine, software, professional care and devices to aid seamless and efficient management of diseases.

The drug maker's SVP of global diabetes franchise, Stefan Oelrich, shared that the good thing about the JV was that there is no reliance on the traditional development cycle for a pharmaceutical asset, which is usually 10 years long. Thanks to the JV, the innovation would begin right away.

Sanofi has 50 percent stake and is pumping in $248 million in cash for the JV. It is optimistic of staying different from competitors thanks to Onduo, as the competition in the space is heating up with more players entering the market. The rivalry surrounding pricing is set to stay, according to Oelrich.

The products Sanofi would be selling as part of the JV include devices, such as an insulin pen, and online services.

Onduo will initially channel its focus on the community suffering from Type 2 diabetes, particularly creating resolutions that would aid individuals in taking informed decisions pertaining to their day-to-day health. This would encompass not only better management of medication, but also better goals and habits.

Over 400 million people around the globe suffer from diabetes and nearly 90 percent have Type 2 diabetes. If proper steps such as lifestyle alterations and better treatment are not taken to counter the problem, the numbers are anticipated to grow further in the near future.

Sanofi is on course to revive declining revenue in the drugmaker's diabetes division. The company may be hoping the JV with Verily will recover its depleting fortunes and turn things around.

Photo: Victor Casale | Flickr

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