Google has confirmed it will shut down its pharmaceutical business after the company said it had found evidence of a new serious and widespread safety problem with its vaccine.
Google said it would close all of its Australian and European operations as part of its regulatory review of the company’s vaccines.
The company has been in the news for years for its role in the production of the Hepatitis C vaccine and for a series of deaths that have claimed the lives of at least 30,000 Australians and European people.
The Australian Government announced in December it was seeking to remove Google from the regulatory framework in Australia, the US and Canada.
It is the second time in less than two years the Government has moved to take action against Google in relation to the Hepatocellular Carcinoma vaccine.
The Government said at the time it had identified evidence of serious and systemic risks, which led it to close the company to the Australian and US regulatory authorities.
The Australian Federal Police said in a statement on Thursday it had been in contact with the company on Monday about the closure and it was “aware of ongoing investigations”.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said it was also reviewing Google’s safety record.
It said in its statement: “We are in discussions with Google about this matter and will take appropriate action when we have the opportunity.”
Google’s chief executive, Larry Page, told ABC News in a telephone interview on Thursday he did not know what caused the new problem.
He said the company had received no information to suggest the vaccine caused any harm.
“We don’t have any reason to believe there’s any risk that it causes,” Mr Page said.
“It’s been a good, long, productive relationship, and I think it’s going to be interesting to see what the consequences of this will be.”‘
Tough questions’Asked about the closures, Google chief executive Larry Page said it could be difficult for people to get the answers they need to make informed decisions about vaccines.
“If we were in the position where we had to make a decision, we would have been in trouble for a long time,” he said.
“There are hard questions that we have to answer, and we are going to do everything in our power to answer them.”
I think there is some degree of uncertainty about this vaccine, and it’s not the time for me to be trying to make decisions about this, so we will wait to see how things play out.
“And we’ll work through those questions as we move forward.”
A spokeswoman for the Australian Food and Drug Administration said there was no information on the vaccine’s safety at the moment.