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Verily from Alphabet is part of a $700 million effort to cure disease without meds using bioelectronics.

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And they're just getting started:

Verily, the life sciences company under Google parent Alphabet, is digging deeper into another experimental medical field and cutting another partnership deal that could net revenue. 

On Monday, Verily and pharmaceutical giant GSK unveiled Galvani Bioelectronics, a new joint venture to push an emerging wing of medicine that uses electric signals and miniaturized devices, rather than chemical drugs, to treat chronic diseases. 

The companies said they would invest £540 million (roughly $711 million) over seven years. GSK will own 55 percent equity in the new company; Verily has the remainder.

Here’s a primer on bioelectronics, which GSK has worked on since 2012.

Verily has tinkered with miniaturized, newfangled medical devices (like a smart contact lens) since its inception inside Google’s X research lab. It has created this type of joint venture before — with Johnson and Johnson for medical robotics. 

Some biotech insiders and former employees have criticized Verily for glomming onto too many far-fetched health care projects without focus. In April, Alphabet exec and Verily patron Sergey Brin told Googlers that Verily was profitable on a cash basis.

Top Reddit comment:

For the lazy : they are investing in bioelectronic research. Essentially you implant a device that messes with nerve impulses. Pacemakers are an obvious and well developed example. Apparently new research is working on the connection between the sympathetic nervous system and the inflammation that causes arthritis.

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