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A small Phase 2 trial of a new antidepressant may hold clues to the direction of Verily, the high-profile Alphabet health tech spinout that announced a new, more focused direction for its business after laying off employees last month.

Part of the goal of the research will be to recruit patients more remotely, and also to gather more data in ways that don’t require patients to come into a doctor’s office unnecessarily. The study is part of a long-standing collaboration between Verily and the drug’s maker, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, and will aim to enroll 336 patients at 55 trial sites across the United States.


Verily and Otsuka have been collaborating since 2019. But the business of providing services to drug companies that are conducting clinical trials is increasingly central to the company’s prospects as it jettisons older projects such as remote patient monitoring for heart failure, microneedles for drug delivery, and its health system analytics tool.

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