Verily launches new biomedical data management platform for researchers, biopharma developers

Verily has launched a new platform for collating and analyzing biomedical data gathered from multiple sources aimed at researchers, biopharma developers and other organizations. 

Google’s life-science-focused sister company said the Workbench program—which operates as part of its larger Viewpoint offering of evidence generation solutions—was built out of its experiences providing data services to large research projects such as the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us project, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Parkinson’s disease and its own in-house Project Baseline.

“Researchers are gathering more data of more types than ever, but it is challenging to effectively store, access, and analyze it while complying with data governance mandates,” Scott Burke, Verily’s chief technology officer, said in the company’s announcement.

In its curtain-raising, Verily disclosed some of Workbench’s first adopters, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Target ALS and genomics developer Helix.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation plans to use the system to support its Parkinson’s research partners, including the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program and the Aligning Science Across Parkinson's initiative, while Target ALS will connect it with its drug development and data aggregation efforts in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 

“We have successfully lowered barriers to accelerate ALS drug discovery over the last decade, and we must continue this momentum to find effective treatments for all forms of ALS,” said Target ALS CEO Manish Raisinghani, Ph.D., who added that the platform will help the nonprofit organization offer its biosample and data set collections to international researchers with “no-strings-attached access.”

Helix, meanwhile, aims to use Workbench to link up with its commercial customers, including health systems, through its population genomics and viral surveillance work.

At the top of this year, Verily announced that it would be narrowing its focus, cutting out its work in medical device development and laying off 15% of its staff, as it turned efforts toward digital precision medicine and clinical research platforms such as Project Baseline and Viewpoint.

That included walking away from early-stage work on remote patient monitoring tech in heart failure and microneedles designed for drug delivery as well as discontinuing its Verily Value Suite for healthcare delivery analytics.

Prior to that, in September 2022, Verily obtained $1 billion in funding from its parent company Alphabet.