Nestle Health Science makes first venture into medical foods
Nestle Health Science makes first venture into medical foods By Shane Starling
Nestlé Health Science, the division the food giant created in September last year to research and develop medical and functional foods, has bought UK medical foods start-up CM&D Pharma Limited, with more acquisitions – both small and large – set to follow.
Four-year-old CM&D will be left to run independently, Nestlé spokesperson Hilary Green said, while the “small company”, will have access to Nestlé’s marketing and research teams where required.
Green said the company was eyeing other targets and did not deny other acquisitions may occur this year to continue the unit’s stated aim to mine, “the opportunity between food and pharma”.
Clinical trials have shown that CM&D's medical gum called Fostrap that utilises the polysaccharide chitosan to bind phosphate (via electrolysis) and prevent it entering the digestive system, can reduce the incidence of hyperphosphataemia (excessive phosphate in the blood) among patients with chronic kidney disease or renal insufficiency.
Hyperphosphataemia can lead to vascular calcification, increasing the risk of cardiac mortality and bone disorders, a problem that particularly afflicts the elderly. Fostrap is expected to be ready for commercial release in 2012.
“Fostrap is prescribable but that will depend on how it is classified in each country,” Green said. “It will not be an over the counter product – it will sell through health channels.”
CM&D is also working on two other products:
* Eviendep – a milk thistle extract (silymarin) and lignin-based product that trials have indicated can reduce the development of colonic polyps and therefore colon cancer rates.
* Recoclix – an egg yolk extract in pilot development at the Universities of Bologna and Barcelona targeting ulcerative colitis, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Nestlé’s science-based nutrition strategic goals
Nestlé Health Science announced its existence at a large media event at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (SFIT) near its Lausanne, Switzerland, base in September last year. It said it had a war chest of about 500m Swiss francs some of which will fund investments like CM&D and others to follow.
It has moved rapidly with the undisclosed CM&D purchase, given it only formally began life on January 1, 2011, by incorporating the 1.6bn Swiss franc Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition and establishing the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences at SFIT.
President and chief executive officer of Nestlé Health Science, Luis Cantarell, said the new acquisition was, “…an excellent fit with Nestlé Health Sciences strategic goal of being a pioneer in the promising area of science-based nutrition… CM&D will benefit from Nestlé Health Science’s commitment to biomedical research, and the resources of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences.”
CM&D founder, Danilo Casadei Massari, stated: “The Board of CM&D Pharma is confident that now, with a trade shareholder with unparalleled expertise and understanding of the science and the regulatory environment behind dietary management of health conditions, its product portfolio will be fully exploited.”
To listen to a podcast featuring Cantarell talking about the creation of Nestlé Health Science click here .