Google today announced it is going into business with Apple to create a new medical company called Calico that will focus on the challenge of ageing and associated diseases.

The new company will be headed by Art Levinson, chairman of Apple's board and former CEO of biotech firm Genentech.

Google CEO Larry Page said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.

“It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art – one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation  to take this new venture forward.”

Google did not reveal what type of products and technologies Calico will develop.

Art said: “I’ve devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry’s focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I’m tremendously excited about what’s next.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook also commented on the news, saying: “For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.”

Google previously ventured into the health sector with its personal health information service, Google Health, which was launched in May 2008. However, it failed to catch on and was discontinued at the start of last year.