Nestle announced on Thursday that they have bought a stake in Accera, in order to support the U.S. firm’s roll-out of a medical food brand targeted at helping Alzheimer’s patients.
The Huffington Post reports that Nestle Health Science was set up last year, in order to profit from the growing overlap between food and pharmaceuticals. They stated on Thursday that they purchased a stake in Accera, but declined to say how much, or what the financial details were.
Accera’s main brand Axona is currently prescribed to almost 30,000 people in America who are suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Nestle stated that the brand helps provide an alternative energy source for those patients, whose brains become less and less able to use glucose. With the Axona powder, which is added to milk or other liquids, patients see an improved memory and cognitive function, according to clinical trials.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Luis Cantarell, president and chief executive of Nestle Health Science, stated:
“The significance of this is not the size of the investment, but the fact that it is our first step in developing our brain health portfolio.”
Nestle has been interested in the link between food and brain health for years, even investing 25 million Swiss francs in a collaboration with ETH Lusanne in 2006. The Switzerland-based company and Swiss technical university worked together to develop food products that would help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
The company hopes to invest about $500 million in the next 10 years to produce more food and drink products with health benefits for consumers. The Nestle Health Science subsidiary is currently focused on gastrointestinal, metabolic, and brain health. Nestle stated, after the announcement of its new investment, that Alzheimer’s is the most common form of adult dementia, and currently affects 5 million people in the U.S. alone.
What do you think of Nestle’s decision to become more involved in pharmaceuticals and food?