Nestlé has announced the creation of Nestlé Health Science S.A. and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences to pioneer a new industry between food and pharma. These two separate organizations will allow Nestlé to develop the innovative area of personalized health science nutrition to prevent and treat health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, which are placing an unsustainable burden on the world’s healthcare systems.
Nestlé Health Science S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestlé S.A., will become operational on Jan. 1, 2011. The new company will be run at arm’s length from Nestlé’s main food, beverages, and nutrition activities, and incorporate the existing global Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition business, which had a turnover of CHF 1.6 billion in 2009. Nestlé Health Science S.A. will also have access to external scientific and technological know-how through Nestlé’s innovation network as well as a number of venture capital funds in which the group has interests. Luis Cantarell, the company’s designated President and CEO, will report to Paul Bulcke in his capacity as Administrateur Délégué of the Board of Directors of Nestlé Health Science S.A., which is chaired by Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.
The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences will be part of Nestlé’s global R&D network. The Institute will be run by Emmanuel E. Baetge, former Chief Scientific Officer of ViaCyte, a biotech company based in San Diego, Calif., who will report to Nestlé Chief Technology Officer Werner Bauer and a Steering Committee composed of both Nestlé and external members. Nestlé will invest hundreds of millions of Swiss francs over the next decade to build an Institute of Health Sciences, which will conduct research in relevant areas of biomedical science to translate this knowledge into nutritional strategies to improve health and longevity. The Institute will be based in the multi-disciplinary scientific environment of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, where Nestlé is already involved in two life science initiatives.
Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said that Nestlé will be a pioneer in helping to shape the space between the food and pharma industry. “The combination of health economics, changing demographics, and advances in health science show that our existing healthcare systems, which focus on treating sick people, are not sustainable and need redesigning. Nestlé 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,” he said.