- Google Life Sciences and the American Heart Association (AHA) are each investing $25 million in a collaborative research project aimed at uncovering and addressing the mechanisms which drive coronary heart disease (CHD).
- CHD kills 7 million people per year globally.
- The research will start early next year with a team of interdisciplinary researchers collaborating on various aspects of the disease.
Perhaps the most important thing about this announcement, besides the unprecedented one-time investment by the AHA, is the fact that it signals Google's continuing commitment to life sciences.
Google Life is comprised of 150 scientists, including astrophysicists, theoretical mathematicians, oncologists, immunologists, electrical engineers and computer scientists. Google Life has numerous partnerships in place, including a collaboration with Novartis focused on co-developing "smart" contact-lens technology. The project would put the lenses in the eyes of individuals with diabetes to measure glucose levels in the body, as well as help restore auto-focus capabilities in people with presbyopia.
In addition, Google and Biogen Idec have partnered to investigate the underlying causes of multiple sclerosis (MS), and why it manifests dissimilarly in different people using sensors, software, and data analysis. Now Google Life is taking on heart disease—an area where there continues to be major unmet medical needs.