Google Gets Into Aging, Launches Calico

Google could be getting into the senior care industry with the launch of Calico, a new company devoted to health and well-being—particularly the challenge of aging and associated diseases, Google announced Wednesday.

Calico’s CEO and founding investor is Arthur D. Levinson, the chairman and former CEO of biotechnology company Genentech and the current chairman of Apple.

“Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives,” said Larry Page, the CEO of Google, in a statement. “It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art—one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation—to take this new venture forward.”

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Levinson has been Genentech’s chairman since 1999 and he is also a member of the company’s Scientific Research Board, an advisory group to the company regarding research and early development projects. Genentech is a pioneering biotechnology company that focuses on research in several areas, including neuroscience and metabolism, and develops products and medicines to treat medical conditions in those areas.

“I’ve devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health,” said Levinson. “Larry’s focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I’m tremendously excited about what’s next.”

Google plans to make “longer-term bets” in the healthcare space compared to other companies, it told TIME magazine in an exclusive interview.

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“In some industries, it takes 10 or 20 years to go from an idea to something being real. Healthcare is certainly one of those areas,” Page told TIME. “We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done.”

“For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.”

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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