Alphabet's Verily Invests In Cancer Detection Firm Freenome

Alphabet’s life sciences research arm Verily has helped finance a start-up focused on developing technologies for detecting early-stage cancer. According to a new report, Verily invested in Freenome during the French startup’s latest round of funding which took place in March and accumulated a total of $65 million. Verily’s investment reaffirms Alphabet’s serious effort to help detect early-stage cancer and contribute to life sciences through advanced technology and various research endeavors. Verily even built a research lab for Freenome's team that's approximately 40 people strong.

According to Verily, the lab also contains office spaces, allowing the two companies to collaborate on their early-stage cancer detection technologies. The lab was designed based on the specifications provided by Freenome's clinical team, which has recently relocated to the new facility located on Verily's South San Francisco campus. It remains unclear whether Verily plans to acquire Freenome in the near future, which may be the case if Freenome’s technology proves to be able to detect cancer in its nascent stage. Modern life sciences teams, including those working for Google, employ machine learning systems to build medical tools and develop clinical techniques that help improve healthcare for patients. In May this year, Google, another Alphabet company, formed a partnership with a number of health care institutions to identify patterns in the patients’ data using de-identified medical data from hospitals. In recent times, the tech giant also collaborated with Verily to develop medical equipment and holistic care management.

Verily’s latest investment marks another step in the company’s effort to help advance health care research. Last month, the firm invested in a $300 million fund to help finance a number of European biotech companies. Earlier, Verily also forged a research alliance with Stanford Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine. With its latest investment in Freenome, Verily is expanding the horizon of its life sciences research in the hopes of substantially contributing to the improvement of human health and medical care. An update on its research efforts and plans for Freenome is likely to follow in the coming months, especially if the Mountain View, California-based tech giant ultimately decides to acquire the start-up.

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Manny Reyes

Staff Writer
A big fan of Android since its launch in 2008. Since then, I've never laid my eyes on other platforms.