Google hooks up with DexCom to apply miniaturized electronics to diabetes monitoring

Google's headquarters--courtesy of Google
Google's headquarters--Courtesy of Google

Google ($GOOG) has made yet another move to apply its IT wizardry to life sciences. The latest deal, which became public one day after Google unveiled its life science-motivated restructuring, sees the tech giant hook up with DexCom ($DXCM) to marry its miniaturized electronics to diabetes sensors.

DexCom, a developer of continuous glucose monitoring systems, is contributing sensor technology to the alliance. By pairing its sensors with Google's miniaturized electronics, DexCom hopes to create wearable, disposable continuous glucose monitoring devices that are far smaller and cheaper than what is available today. Exactly how small and cheap the devices are remains to be seen, but Google has previously described its miniaturized electronics as "chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter."

The end goal for DexCom is to use this advanced technology to create a low-cost, cloud-connected, bandage-sized sensor that will supplant finger sticks as the standard of care. "This partnership has the potential to change the face of diabetes technology forever. Working together, we believe we can introduce products that will move us beyond our core Type 1 business to become the standard of care for all people living with diabetes," DexCom CEO Kevin Sayer said in a statement. DexCom is paying Google an undisclosed upfront fee and milestones for its contribution to realizing this vision.

San Diego, CA-based DexCom will have full sales and distribution rights for products developed in the collaboration. The structure of the deal--which gives Google access to a life science market without having to handle regulatory and commercial tasks--is in keeping with its strategy to date. Last year, Google cofounder Sergey Brin said regulations made healthcare "a painful business to be in," a view that contributed to its decision to look for partners with experience of bringing medical devices to market. Novartis ($NVS) and now DexCom have signed up to handle that side of the process.

- read the release
- here's FierceMedicalDevices' take
- and FierceBiotech's restructuring news