Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) says it has launched a new health company, called Calico, that will focus on aging and related diseases.

The Internet search giant said Wednesday that the company will be headed by Arthur Levinson, the current chairman and former CEO of biotechnology company Genentech and the chairman of Apple Inc. He will stay in his current positions.

“Illness and aging affect all our families,” Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page said in the posting. “With some longer term, moonshot thinking around health care and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.”

Google is stepping up investments in areas outside its core online-advertising and consumer-services business. The search provider has already put money into health-related companies through its venture arm, called Google Ventures, among other sectors. The Mountain View, California-based company has also worked on longer-term bets through a research unit that’s unveiled plans for computerized eyeglasses and driverless cars.

Levinson, who is also a founding investor in Calico, will remain a director of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. as well as chairman of Apple Inc. Google’s announcement didn’t include any details on the size of the new health-care company or the scope of the investment.

The new venture comes after Levinson stepped down from the Google board back in 2009, a move that resolved a regulatory probe into overlapping directors at Google and Apple. Both companies have continued to compete in more areas, including on mobile devices and in software.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, praised Levinson in the Google statement.

“For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking,” Cook said. “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.”