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Keeping Pace in the Health Tech Space, Verily nails $1B Investment Round

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The massive infusion puts Verily in a good deal-making position as the health-tech arena grows.

Verily Life Sciences plans to use its newest $1 billion investment round, led by its parent company, Alphabet, to support expanding its focus on precision health, which includes initiatives in real world evidence generation, healthcare data platforms, and research and care. The company will also invest in strategic partnerships, global business development and potential acquisitions.

This whopper of an infusion puts Verily in a good deal-making position as the health-tech arena grows, as well as helps support its newer efforts in data platforms and research and technology that aim to make healthcare more individualized.

In March, president and chief operating officer Stephen Gillett outlined Verily’s new strategy in the company blog. “Our new purpose is to bring the promise of precision health to everyone, every day. That purpose unites our work across the company now and captures where we are headed in this next phase of our company’s growth.”

Analysts have compared Verily’s funding to that of tech company Amazon buying One Medical – both strategies increase each companies’ footprint in the healthcare technology market. Amazon acquired One Medical, a primary care provider that leverages in-person, digital and virtual interactions in its services, in a deal valued at $3.9 billion.

Recently, Verily has committed to working in biomedical research to virtual care, wearables and even technology for mosquito eradication. Verily has recently experimented with diabetes-detecting contact lenses, and care solutions for sleep apnea. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the company also shifted its focus to COVID screening, testing and research programs. It developed one of the first community-based testing services, the Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program – which to date has tested nearly 2.5 million people. Using the Baseline Platform, the company has contributed to the HERO-Together study, which evaluates the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for frontline health workers.

Staff Changes

At this time, Verily is also shifting its top leadership. According to the company, the new “roles are the result of thoughtful succession planning led by Conrad and the board and in recognition of the skills and experience required to lead Verily as it becomes a more operationally and commercially focused company executing on its precision health strategy .”

Long-serving CEO Andy Conrad will become executive chairman of the Verily Board and current president Stephen Gillett will advance to CEO, with both changes effective January 2023.

Gillett joined Verily from Google in 2020 as an operational advisor to the company and to lead Verily’s effort to establish a Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. In November of that year, he was named Chief Operating Officer. Before joining Verily, Gillett was co-founder and CEO of Chronicle, an Alphabet cybersecurity company that is now part of Google Cloud.

Former FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner, Amy Abernathy, stated on LinkedIn and Twitter, “Sharing big congratulations to Stephen Gillett, who will step into the role of CEO, and deep gratitude to Andy Conrad, who will move into the role of Executive Chairman.” As president of Verily’s Clinical Studies Platforms, Abernathy says, “[Andy’s] vision for Verily continues to fuel our momentum, and we are positioned for great progress ahead.”

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