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Calico: a new Google company focused on extending life expectancy

Joseph Volpe, @jrvolpe
September 18, 2013
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Google's making a long-term business bet that, at first glance, may seem out of the ordinary: it's getting into healthcare. Its new company, Calico, will be focused on addressing the illnesses affecting the geriatric community, as well as aging in general. In Google CEO Larry Page's own words, the new enterprise, headed up by current Apple and Genentech chair Arthur D. Levinson, is geared towards "moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology," so expect some pretty futuristic developments to come from the initiative.

In an interview given to Time magazine, Page said that Calico will re-evaluate traditional thinking and approaches to healthcare, like cancer research, the advancement of which he concludes might "not [be] as big an advance as you might think." Page isn't dismissing that vein of research altogether, but claims any cures could only add about three years to a survivor's life -- a trivial gain in the long-run. Though he was willing to go on record with what's wrong with the current state of healthcare R&D, Page wouldn't elaborate as to what future products Calico could produce, saying only that Google, with its vast resources, should be doing more to contribute to the world's greater good.

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