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September 12, 2016

Sanofi, Verily combine forces to fight diabetics

French drugmaker Sanofi will try to tackle the impact of the surge in diabetics by combining forces with Alphabet’s daughter Verily Life Sciences. The two companies plan to invest $500 million in a joint venture amid forecasts for the number of people with the disease to surge.

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Sanofi believes the partnership with Verily Life Sciences LLC will spur advances in the way diabetes is monitored and treated. Also the French pharmaceutical company hopes the joint venture by the name of Anduo will help it navigate an increasingly competitive market.

The new company plans to help people with diabetics live health lives by developing comprehensive solutions that combine devices, software and medicine, according to a statement. Professional caretakers should be provide with simple and intelligent disease management.

Sanofi is investing $248 million in cash, Verily will invest the equivalent in an unspecified way.  The joint venture is based in Kendall Square in Cambridge.  Under the leadership of Onduo’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Riff, the company will leverage Verily’s experience in miniaturized electronics, analytics, and consumer software development, and Sanofi’s clinical expertise and experience in bringing innovative treatments to people living with diabetes.

Initially, Onduo will 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. Over time, the company plans to include the type 1 diabetes community, and eventually all people at risk of developing diabetes with the goal of helping them better prevent the onset of the disease.

Onduo says it is taking a multi-stakeholder approach to diabetes management by involving the diabetes community, clinicians, payers and healthcare professionals in the product development process. Sutter Health of Northern California and Allegheny Health Network of western Pennsylvania are among the first healthcare networks to collaborate with Verily and Onduo to test the Onduo platform with healthcare professionals and people with type 2 diabetes in a clinical care setting. Additionally, Onduo is discussing with patient advocacy groups like Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) to provide input on future product designs.

In 2014 it was estimated that globally, 422 million people suffer from the disease. It has been estimated that the global economic burden of diabetes is U.S. $827 billion.
 

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