GSK's Bioelectronics R&D unit is pursuing a relatively new scientific field that could one day result in a new class of medicines that would not be pills or injections but miniaturised, implantable devices. GSK believes that these devices could be programmed to read and correct the electrical signals that pass along the nerves of the body, including irregular or altered impulses that can occur in association with a broad range of diseases. The hope is that through these devices, disorders as diverse as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, hypertension and diabetes could be treated.

In 2013, we outlined our vision for bioelectronic medicines in this commentary piece in Nature, click here to view the article.

Medicine’s Future Runs on Electricity

Dr Daniel Chew graduated from Bristol University with a BSc in Neuroscience in 2006. Here he talks to RiAus about his work at GSK where he heads the Neural Interfacing group in Bioelectronics.

Bioelectronics research network

We believe bioelectronic medicines could allow us to address some diseases that have so far been untreatable, and others with greater precision and fewer side effects than with conventional molecular medicines. As a sign of our commitment to bioelectronics, we have put in place mechanisms to integrate the research community and we are currently funding 33 research projects across more than 25 institutions.