- Sanofi announced Monday morning it has teamed up with Verily Life Sciences, the life sciences unit of Google's parent company Alphabet, to create a joint venture which will focus on providing diabetes patients with disease solutions.
- Onduo, part of the diabetes joint venture between the pair, will be located in Cambridge, MA's Kendall Square and combine software, devices and pharmaceuticals to help patients manage their disease.
- The initial focus of Onduo will be type 2 diabetes patients. The company will be led by CEO Joshua Riff, previously of UnitedHealth Group's Optum.
The French pharma is struggling to maintain a leadership position in the diabetes market. While it is pursuing new drug offerings at the same time, this partnership with Verily is aimed at patient care and disease management.
Onduo will focus on providing type 2 diabetes patients with solutions for day-to-day habits, including managing medication and making good decisions about lifestyle.
The company will eventually expand its focus to type 1 diabetes patients.
Compliance is one of the biggest problems for diabetes companies. While many available drugs are effective in treating patients, they are are not always taken correctly or at the proper time, making patient outcomes less successful and increasing patient decline. Diabetes companies have tried to create a continuum of care in diabetes, offering patients a variety of solutions.
Sanofi has been fighting to keep a foothold in the diabetes space as its once market-leading insulin Lantus faces an onslaught of competition. At the same time, the company has had a hard time bringing forward strong offerings in other classes of diabetes medications.
Meanwhile, Verily has been teaming up with a number of big pharmas. The company announced in August it had forged a joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline dubbed Galvani Bioelectronics that would focus on developing implantable devices that could alter bioelectric signals.