Nestle is forming a new food unit focused on health and wellness that the company said will enable it develop personalized nutrition products that can help manage chronic conditions.

Nestle, Nestle Health Science, Nestle Institute of Health Sciences, health and wellness, personalized health science nutrition, personalized nutrition, health care, chronic conditions, nutrition, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Paul Bulcke, Luis Cantarell, Emmanuel Baetge

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Nestle creates unit to link 'food and pharma'

September 27th, 2010

VEVEY, Switzerland – Nestle is forming a new food unit focused on health and wellness that the company said will enable it develop personalized nutrition products that can help manage chronic conditions.

The world's biggest food group announced Monday the creation of Nestle Health Science S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle S.A. that's slated to become operational on Jan. 1, 2011.

Along with the newly formed Nestle Institute of Health Sciences research and development unit, Nestle Health Science will "pioneer a new industry between food and pharma" by developing the area of "personalized health science nutrition" to help prevent and treat such conditions as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease, "which are placing an unsustainable burden on the world's health care systems," Nestle said.

Plans call for Nestle Health Science to be run from Nestle's main food, beverages and nutrition activities and incorporate the existing global Nestle HealthCare Nutrition business. The company said Nestle Health Science will also have access to external scientific and technological know-how through its innovation network as well as a number of venture capital funds in which the group has interests. The Nestle Institute of Health Sciences will be part of the company's global R&D network.

Nestle said it will invest hundreds of millions of Swiss francs over the next decade to build a world-class Institute of Health Sciences, which will conduct research in biomedical science to translate this knowledge into nutritional strategies to improve health and longevity.

"The combination of health economics, changing demographics and advances in health science show that our existing health care systems, which focus on treating sick people, are not sustainable and need redesigning," Nestle chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said in a statement. "Nestle has the expertise, the science, the resources and the organization to play a major role in seeking alternative solutions. Personalized health science nutrition is about finding efficient and cost-effective ways to prevent and treat acute and chronic diseases in the 21st century."

Added Nestle chief executive officer Paul Bulcke, "The creation of Nestle Health Science S.A. and the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences is the best way to focus our attention and organize our unique capabilities and competencies to seize this promising business opportunity. The new setup will give us a pioneering and leading role in this entirely new industry, while at the same time allowing us to keep the necessary focus on Nestle's extremely important food, beverage and nutrition business."

Luis Cantarell has been designated as president and CEO of Nestle Health Science, according to the company. "This is an exciting new business opportunity, the execution of which will have a positive long-term impact on people's lives," Cantarell stated. "Personalized health science nutrition will create shared value, both for Nestle and for society, by successfully preventing, improving and treating acute and chronic medical conditions. I am looking forward to getting this ground-breaking work under way."

Emmanuel Baetge, who has been named to head the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences, noted that the institute's research will yield a better understanding human diseases and aging as influenced by genetics, metabolism and environment. "Translating this knowledge will allow us to advance the concept of daily personalized health science nutrition as the most important first step in disease prevention and treatment," he commented.