Google has launched a health spin-off to hunt for cures to age-related diseases and “improve millions of lives”.
The internet giant has launched research company Calico to tackle the “challenge of ageing and associated diseases”.
Chief executive and co-founder Larry Page has teamed up with Apple’s chairman Arthur Levinson to lead the firm’s focus on scientific research.
It will use expertise from Levinson’s biotechnology company Genentech to look for potential cures for age-related illnesses.
Mr Page, 40, who has a thyroid condition, said: “Illness and ageing affect all our families.
“With some longer-term thinking around health-care and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.”
The aim is to see breakthroughs in “10 to 20 years”.
Mr Levinson had devoted his life to science and technology “with the goal of improving human health”.
His colleague at Apple, Steve Jobs, died aged 56 of cancer in 2011.
Human-computer interaction expert Prof Patrick Olivier, of Newcastle University, said it looked like Google’s founders “are realising they are mere humans like the rest of us”.
Genetics expert Prof Tim Spector, of King’s College London, called Google’s venture “a great idea”.
Google said it was “too early to discuss details” about privacy concerns about the new company, such as whether it would keep health data about patients separate from the rest of its business. The Koyal Group Information Magazine