Osaka, Japan and South San Francisco, CA -- February 4, 2020 -- Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Head office: Osaka, hereinafter "Santen") and Verily, an Alphabet company, announced the establishment of a joint venturefocused on applying microelectronics and scalable digital technologies to ophthalmology. One in thirty people worldwide have experienced an issue with eye health and it is estimated that about 80% of visual impairments can be prevented by early detection and treatment.1In the healthcare industry, digital tools and technologies may present a meaningful way to develop more preventive and proactive solutions.

The new joint venture is driven by a mission to improve eye health for people everywhere, starting by developing solutions to support modern ophthalmology practice globally. Combining Santen's industry knowledge and technology in ophthalmology and Verily's expertise in development of connected, integrated medical devices and machine learning, the new company plans to create and commercialize unique ophthalmic devices and comprehensive tech-enabled solutions.

Shigeo Taniuchi, President and COO of Santen said "This joint venture will combine Verily's cutting-edge digital technology and our global industrial and commercial ophthalmology business platform to pursue innovation in ophthalmology. Santen has actively promoted collaboration and open innovation with various external organizations in order to enhance eye health, and corresponding quality of life, for people around the world. Digital technology is a transformational driver in health and we hope that this joint venture will be a significant step forward in paving the way for better eye care around the world."

Dimitri Azar, MD, MBA, Senior Director of Ophthalmic Innovation at Verily and CEO-designate of the joint venture said, "we're thrilled to partner with Santen, a global company with an established presence in the ophthalmology industry, to develop novel solutions leveraging microelectronics and machine learning for better eye care. Our focus is first and foremost on taking care of patients. By combining Santen's expertise and Verily's advanced technology, our joint venture is well-positioned to tackle innovative projects spanning ophthalmic conditions, such as glaucoma and dry eye. We'll explore ways to use technology not only to diagnose disease, but to improve treatment and develop more precise interventions in ophthalmology."

1. Lancet Glob Health 2017;5: e888‒97

The establishment of the joint venture is subject to applicable regulatory merger control clearance.

About Santen

As a specialized company dedicated to ophthalmology, Santen carries out research, development, marketing, and sales of pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter products, and medical devices. Santen is the market leader for prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals in Japan, and its products now reach patients in more than 60 countries. With scientific knowledge and organizational capabilities nurtured over a nearly 130-year history, Santen provides products and services to contribute to the well-being of patients, their loved ones and consequently to society. For more information, please visit Santen’s website (

About Verily

Launched in 2015, Verily is a subsidiary of Alphabet focused on life sciences and healthcare. Verily's mission is to make the world's health data useful so that people enjoy healthier lives. Verily develops tools and devices to collect, organize and activate health data, and creates interventions to prevent and manage disease. Verily partners with leading life sciences, medical device and government organizations, using deep hardware, software, scientific, and healthcare expertise to enable faster development, meaningful advances, and deployment at scale. For more information, please visit

Santen Forward-looking Statements

Information provided in this press release contains forward-looking statements. The achievement of these forecasts is subject to risk and uncertainty from various sources. Therefore, please note that the actual results may differ significantly from the forecasts. Business performance and financial conditions are subject to the effects of changes in regulations made by the governments of Japan and other nations concerning medical insurance, drug pricing and other systems, and to fluctuations in market variables such as interest rates and foreign exchange rates.



Corporate Communications Group, Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.



Emily Friedman