Nestle invests in food for Alzheimer's patients20 July 2012
Swiss food giant Nestle has taken a stake in US firm Accera to support the launch of a new food brand for Alzheimer's sufferers.
The deal is Nestle's latest attempt to break into the lucrative nutraceuticals market through its Nestle Health Science brand. The Swiss giant will take a sway on Accera's board but the size of the stake or size and financial details were unconfirmed.
Privately owned firm Accera's key brand is Axona which is prescribed to 30,000 people in the US with mild to moderate Alzheimer's.
A series of clinical trials have shown Axona to provide an alternative energy source for Alzheimer's patients, whose brains become less able to use glucose. Nestle said that the trials have found Axona to improve memory and cognitive function and that the investment would help to realise more clinical data on Axona.
The deal is Nestle's latest attempt to diversify from food into the fast growing medical foods category and the firm has identified gastrointestinal, metabolic and brain health as key growth opportunities. Analysts Morningstar have tipped the nutritional over-the-counter health market to grow by 5% annually to $200 million by 2015.
The nutritional and over-the-counter healthcare markets are expected to grow by 5 percent annually to $200 billion by 2015, according to analysts at Morningstar.
Last year, Nestle announced plans to invest 500 million Swiss francs in a new health science research facility and last month opened a new clinical trials unit to aid product development.
The move comes after it emerges last week that rival Danone has a stake in a new milkshake developed by MIT researchers to improve the cognitive function of Alzheimer's patients.
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