Healthcare Technology Featured Article

January 27, 2017

Verily Readies Healthcare Push into Asia

Alphabet, Google's now-parent company, has a great many sub-projects in the works at any given time, and one of these is the healthcare arm known as Verily Life Sciences. Verily has a variety of tools at its disposal, including a substantial number of biotech offerings. With some new investment from Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd—a firm owned at last report by the government of Singapore—the end result is set to be a big new push into Asian markets.

Temasek put $800 million into Verily, which will give the holding company not only a seat on Verily's operating board but also an equity stake in the company's operations. This is a measure that will prove all too necessary as Verily is increasingly being run autonomously from the broader Google infrastructure.

Previously, Google's massive advertising revenue had been doing the job of supporting operations for Verily and other Alphabet companies, reports noted, but now Verily is out to sink or swim on its own. With $800 million of wind beneath its wings, meanwhile, that should do the job of keeping Verily aloft as it makes a push into the likely growing Asian healthcare market.

Andrew Conrad, Verily CEO, noted in a statement that the combination of a “substantial network and insights into the economies in Asia” would likely prove very helpful as Verily made a push into Asia. A fairly hefty product portfolio wouldn't hurt on that end either, as the company has already been seen working with several companies and on several different products.

It's already created a specific line of spoon for Parkinson's disease patients to use, as well as sterile mosquitoes to combat the spread of the Zika virus. It works with Biogen, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and several other firms as well.

A move into the Asian healthcare market is brilliant by every measure. Not only is the market absolutely huge—China alone has better than three times the United States' population—but it's also said to be graying with a startling rapidity. That should open up a lot of new opportunities in that market for healthcare products, especially for biotech parts that may allow those graying Asians to live longer still. It's hard to pass up the proposition of things like living longer or reducing pain; these are imperative goods in any market. With a huge number of older folks on hand, that spells opportunity.

Verily's push into the Asian market should prove a profitable one, and one that gives Temasek a leg up as well. Temasek has likely put its investment into a sound figure, and the Asian expansion project should bring welcome new products to a market eager to take advantage.

Edited by Alicia Young

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