Nestlé Health Science, a fully owned subsidiary of Nestlé, and the pharmaceutical and healthcare group Chi-Med, have agreed to form a 50/50 joint venture to be named Nutrition Science Partners Limited (NSP).
NSP will research, develop, manufacture and market innovative nutritional and medicinal products derived from botanical plants.
The new partnership will give Nestlé Health Science access to one of the worldâs leading Traditional Chinese Medicine libraries. NSP will focus on gastrointestinal health and may in the future expand into the metabolic disease and brain health areas.
Research and development
The new partnership gives Nestlé Health Science access to Chi-Medâs traditional Chinese medicine library of more than 50,000 extracts from over 1,200 different herbal plants and its world-class expertise. This includes the access to use the botanical research and development platform in gastrointestinal areas, which includes discovery research, non-clinical and pharmaceutical science functions and an understanding of the botanical guidelines and regulations.
‘Botanical-based nutrition’ and value for patients
“This joint venture provides Nestlé Health Science with an opportunity to develop and commercialise truly innovative and scientifically validated botanical-based nutrition for personalised healthcare in gastrointestinal health,” said Luis Cantarell, President and Chief Executive Officer for Nestlé Health Science.
“Nestlé Health Science will bring unique competencies in nutritional sciences, diagnostics and commercial capabilities, and Chi-Med will provide its best-in-class traditional Chinese medicine library and discovery platform, which will be the basis of Nutrition Science Partnersâ future gastrointestinal pipeline.”
“We are joined in this important endeavour by Nestlé Health Science, and are confident that by harnessing the resources of our two groups, we will succeed in bringing a stream of novel botanical medicines and nutritional products to market and in-so-doing build significant value for patients and for our shareholders,” said Christian Hogg, Chief Executive Officer of Chi-Med.
Supporting clinical trials
Hutchison MediPharma Limited, a subsidiary of Chi-Med, is already advanced in the research and development into a first-of-its-kind botanical product, to be taken orally, to manage mild to moderate inflammatory bowel disease. Its main ingredient is extracted from 'andrographis paniculata', a herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The new partnership will further support the product development during its next stage of clinical trials, which is scheduled to start in early 2013.
Nestlé Health Science
This latest investment by Nestlé Health Science will enhance its ability to develop science-based personalised nutritional solutions.
The company is active in the acute disease sectors of ageing medical care, critical care and surgery, and paediatric medical care. It is also developing new approaches to chronic diseases in the areas of gastrointestinal health, metabolic health and brain health.
Elevating role of nutrition
The new partnership will build on Nestlé Health Science’s ambition to explore personalised health care combining nutrition, drugs and diagnostics. This approach was made possible through the acquisition of leading US gastrointestinal diagnostics company Prometheus through its diagnostics and in-licensed specialty pharmaceuticals in gastroenterology and oncology, which helps the patient manage their condition from diagnostics to treatment.
The new joint venture is an opportunity for Nestlé Health Science to establish this approach for patients outside of the United States.
The company has made a number of investments to build on its gastrointestinal portfolio including a minority stake in New Zealand-based Vital Foods and the acquisition of CM&D Pharma Ltd. To expand its portfolio of clinical nutritional solutions for metabolic disorders, Nestlé Health Science acquired UK-based Vitaflo. And to boost its brain health portfolio, it acquired a stake in a US firm Accera.
Terms of partnership
Nutrition Science Partners will be funded primarily through the initial Nestlé Health Science capital investment and further milestone payments linked to success of clinical and commercial activities.
This transaction is subject to regulatory approval.