Google announced Wednesday it was launching a new company focused on health and well-being, and hinted at cooperation with longtime rival Apple in the venture. A Google statement said the company, Calico, would put a particular focus on "the challenge of aging and associated diseases." Arthur Levinson, chairman and former chief executive of the biotech firm Genentech and chairman of Apple, will be Calico's chief executive and a founding investor.
Announcing the new investment, Google CEO Larry Page said: "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."
"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," he said.
Levinson said in the same statement: "I've devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry's focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I'm tremendously excited about what's next." Levinson will remain chairman of Genentech and a director of Hoffmann-La Roche, as well as chairman of Apple, the statement noted.