French drugmaker Sanofi has teamed up with Alphabet's US-based life sciences company Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) to launch of a joint-venture - Onduo - with the aim of improving the management of diabetes.
The group say Onduo's mission is to help people with diabetes live full, healthy lives by developing comprehensive solutions that combine devices, software, medicine, and professional care to enable simple and intelligent disease management.
The JV will leverage Verily's experience in miniaturised electronics, analytics, and consumer software development, and Sanofi's clinical expertise and experience in bringing innovative treatments.
"From monitoring food intake to testing glucose levels to actively seeking medical care, the challenges both on the physical and mental well-being of a person living with diabetes are incredibly difficult," said Dr Riff, chief executive of Onduo.
"We want to develop solutions that allow people living with diabetes to focus on the things they love and enjoy in life by providing tools to make dealing with their diabetes less burdensome."
The initial focus is on type II diabetes, with the JV striving to develop solutions that could help people "make better decisions about their day to day health, ranging from improved medication management to improved habits and goals", the groups said. But eventually the focus will extend to the type I diabetes community, and people at risk of developing the condition.
There is still huge unmet medical need in diabetes, given that less than a third of patients with type I and nearly half of all patients with type II forms of the condition are failing to meet their blood sugar targets, placing them at much higher risk of serious complications.
"The integration of multiple interventions, such as data-driven patient support and devices in addition to treatment, can help improve outcomes," said Peter Guenter, head of Sanofi's Global Diabetes & Cardiovascular Business Unit.
Onduo will adopt "a more service-centric approach", which the firms believe "will help societies cope with the burden of this epidemic," he added.