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What About the Moon?

Google's reorganization as Alphabet has left many people wondering just what the move means for the company's various ventures, including its biotech aspirations.

As FierceBiotech notes, this restructuring could open up the company's 'moonshot' ventures, including Calico, Google's project aimed at exploring human longevity, to the scrutiny of investors.

Currently, Calico benefits from an undisclosed budget and a "long leash," FierceBiotech says. At Forbes, Matthew Herper notes that the company, headed by Arthur Levinson, has "been incredibly quiet, and deliberate, and I have no idea what they're doing."

He adds that Calico is "stocked with world-class scientists, people like David Botstein, who helped invent the science of genomics, and Cynthia Kenyon, one of the world's top aging researchers."

But as re/code reports, part of this rearrangement at Google is to increase transparency. And Forbes' Herper, among others, wonders how the glare of investors might affect the prospect of moonshot projects like Calico.

"[G]iving investors a view of how the base business is working through separate financial reports will help calm their nerves," he says, "But do the pitchforks ever come out from the myopic crowds? Could Calico ever be stuck in the terrible, deceitful purgatory of the biotechnology industry, where companies try to break up years-long scientific endeavors into quarterly bites?"

In an email, Levinson tells Herper not to worry, as he doesn't expect "Calico's mission, directions or goals (either near or long- term)" to changes because or the restructuring.

In the end, Herper says that the restructuring itself may not matter. "It's a dramatic way for [Google's Sergey] Brin and [Larry] Page to say that they will remake their company to protect their bets on alpha, their moonshots, that that stuff isn't changing," he says.

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