Google is launching a new, entirely separate company called Calico. The firm will be dedicated to tacking major, long-term healthcare initiatives like significantly extending the human lifespan.
Calico will be helmed by Arthur Levinson, the chairman and former CEO of biotech firm Genentech. Levinson is also a longtime board member and Chairman of Apple, and a director of Hoffmann-La Roche, a Swiss healthcare and pharmaceutical firm.
In a Google press release, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about Art Levinson, who will remain on the board at Apple:
Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, said: "For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results."
Time Magazine will put the new company on its cover next week, under the headline "Can Google Solve Death?"
The magazine spoke to Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page about the venture, which Page hopes can take a moonshot and perhaps solve some major health issues by looking at long-term healthcare R&D that isn't based on quarter-by-quarter profits.
"In some industries, it takes ten or 20 years to go from an idea to something being real. Healthcare is certainly one of those ares," said Page. "Maybe we should shoot for the things that are really, really important so ten or 20 years from now we have those things done."
Calico will be an entirely separate entity from Google, operating outside the Google X research arm that is responsible for Google Glass and the company's self-driving car project.