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Jul 18, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

E-health: Google teams up with France’s Sanofi to develop the medicines of the future

Sanofi and Google are joining forces once more to share their expertise. In the wake of a partnership designed to offer solutions for diabetics and which reached a conclusion in 2016, they have just announced the joint development of a “healthcare innovation lab”, where the Californian giant’s technologies will be used to analyse the French drugmaker’s data. The two partners hope their venture will put them at the forefront of the e-health industry through the development of new treatments.


On 18 June Google and French drugmaker Sanofi announced that they are entering a new phase in their collaboration, in the form of a “healthcare innovation lab”. In a press release, Sanofi said its aim was to “radically transform the development of the medicines and healthcare services of tomorrow.” With the support of the California-based giant, such a goal could be achieved by “harnessing the power of new data technologies.” 


Data mining at the heart of the project


These technologies involve the mining of healthcare data to take into account specific details about patients and their illnesses with a view to improving all aspects of their treatment. The innovations developed in the virtual healthcare lab are intended to shape the production and sale of new medicines and treatments.

“Combining Sanofi’s biologic innovations and scientific data with Google’s industry-leading capabilities, from cloud computing to state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, we aspire to give people more control over their health and accelerate the discovery of new therapies,” said Ameet Nathwani, a senior executive at Sanofi. 


A partnership that goes back to 2016


The joint development of a virtual healthcare innovation lab is not the first project in which the two companies have engaged. In 2016, they founded the joint venture Onduo, which develops diabetes care and monitoring solutions. In May, Sanofi was among a number of pharmaceutical companies to sign a clinical trials partnership with Verily, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet.

The latest venture between Sanofi and Google is but a further sign of the healthcare industry’s rush to harness big data. The sector’s big names are investing significant sums in a bid to be competitive, among them Dassaut Systèmes, which announced on 12 June that is has bought US clinical trial specialist Medidata for $5.8bn.


Share prices on the rise


“Given the financing conditions at this moment in time and the strategic challenges, we are only going to see more and more takeovers,” said one expert. The phenomenon is such that companies deemed ripe for a buyout are seeing their share prices soar. US firm Veeva Systems, which provides cloud-based solutions for the life-sciences industry, has seen its stock price double over the last six months.


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