Google co-founder and Alphabet president Sergey Brin published a blog post this morning announcing Life Sciences as the first new company created under the Alphabet umbrella. The move was expected, as Alphabet CEO Larry Page wrote during the announcement of the new holding company that this area of focus was the perfect example of why Google needed to restructure itself. It's a bold bet with an enormous potential reward, but one that is far removed from Google's core business, and not likely to be financially self-sustaining anytime soon.
There are a number of already public projects that will be rolled up into life sciences:
Smart contact lenses that can monitor the blood sugar levels of diabetics
Nanoparticles that can be used to detect and fight cancer
A baseline study that will create the richest portrait yet of the human body and genome
The Life Sciences company will be headed up by Andy Conrad, who was previously the head of....Google Life Sciences. Not much will change under Alphabet, in other words, besides a shuffling of titles and corporate structure. Still, there is no denying that the company's goals are an exciting use of Google's ample profits for humanity, if perhaps not as appealing to investors in Google's advertising business.
"They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing — and, hopefully — transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease," wrote Brin. "The team is relatively new but very diverse, including software engineers, oncologists, and optics experts. This is the type of company we hope will thrive as part of Alphabet and I can’t wait to see what they do next."
Update: This post originally stated that Calico would be part of the new Life Sciences company. Calico was already an independent company from Google and will remain that way under Alphabet. It will not be rolled up into Life Sciences.