Alphabet’s Verily teams with pharma companies to improve clinical trials

Jessica Mega, chief medical and scientific officer at Verily, says diversity in research will allow for better understanding of health and disease. 

Todd Williamson/Techhnews

Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences arm, is working with a series of pharmaceutical companies to develop clinical trials. 

Verily, part of Google parent company Alphabet, is teaming up with Novartis, Otsuka, Pfizer and Sanofi, Verily said on Tuesday. Through these partnerships, the companies hope to implement research with a more tech-driven approach and to reach a wider range of clinical research participants. 

The clinical research programs will use the platform and tools from Project Baseline, an initiative Verily launched in 2017 to bridge the gap between research and medical care. The goal of the Baseline Platform is to include more patients and clinicians in research, make it faster and easier to conduct studies and gather more comprehensive, high-quality data. 

Less than 10% of the US population participates in clinical research, according to Research America, an advocacy group. Common issues in research include data fragmentation, inefficient operations and a lack of value for patients, Verily says. 

Verily and its industry partners hope to use the Baseline Platform to “collect, organize and activate health information from electronic health records, sensors and other digital sources.” In the coming years, Novartis, Otsuka, Pfizer and Sanofi aim to start clinical studies using the platform in areas like cardiovascular disease, oncology, mental health, dermatology and diabetes.

“Evidence generation through research is the backbone of improving health outcomes,” said Jessica Mega, chief medical and scientific officer at Verily. “We need to be inclusive and encourage diversity in research to truly understand health and disease, and to provide meaningful insights about new medicines, medical devices and digital health solutions.”

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