In the wake of its recent rebranding and in advance of the imminent spinoff of its consumer arm, GSK has announced a venture to support early-stage consumer health and technology companies.

Re/Wire Health Studio, a collaboration between GSK Next and R/GA Ventures, is accepting its second cohort of brands. Re/Wire is a nine-week virtual program designed to scale early-stage businesses that address issues across “oral health, women’s health and wellness and mental resilience,” per the company.

The first Re/Wire cohort last year included six companies. They ranged from the makers of an at-home oral microbiome test to an e-commerce marketplace for menstrual well-being to a digital platform that connects women of color with culturally aware providers.

GSK VP and Head of NextNick Tate is excited by the prospect of expanding Re/Wire’s remit and utilizing GSK’s resources to support enterprising healthcare endeavors.

“This is an opportunity and a vehicle for GSK Consumer Healthcare to reach and foster a new ecosystem of entrepreneurial startups which are helping us deliver better everyday health with humanity,” he said. 

Jonathan Bradley, R/GA Ventures VP and Partner, added that Re/Wire seeks to create a path to implementation for ambitious, emerging companies and “enable a more human future.”

“The objective is not just to engage some startups and see what’s happening in the space. We designed a program that is built to add value to the individual startups and the ecosystem as a whole,” Bradley said. “We can identify real pathways to collaborate with GSK partnerships and commercial engagements.”

Looking at the evolving nature of healthcare – especially in light of the pandemic’s lingering effects – Tate said the industry is being shaped by consumer expectations and interactions with different sectors, like banking or retail. As a result, he expects more consumer demand for at-home care, higher patient expectations for convenient solutions from healthcare organizations, a more hyperlocal role played by pharmacists and technology that leads to more individualized care delivery.

Bradley and Tate said Re/Wire is seeking to boost the efforts of companies that have the potential to reimagine the healthcare space. Success will be measured, they noted, by establishing a roadmap for participating companies and securing partnerships, whether commercial in nature or around R&D or potential investments.

“The mission of the GSK and Re/Wire teams is to identify the types of companies that can build the type of platform that can then grow into other types of services and behavior change,” Bradley added.