Nestlé Health Science has made its third significant investment of the year by buying an 18% stake in a 20-year-old New Zealand start-up that specialises in kiwi fruit extract products with digestive health benefits.
The undisclosed deal will see the medical foods division established by Nestlé in January back research and development work on Vital Foods’ kiwi fruit extract products that have been shown to benefit those suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Nestlé Health Science president Louis Cantarell said the company would use its Australian base to boost clinical work on the extracts.
The division in May paid an estimated $1bn for US form Prometheus Laboratories Inc that focuses on conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and has, “in-licensed specialty pharmaceuticals.”
In February Nestlé Health Science, acquired UK medical foods start-up CM&D Pharma Limited.
Nestlé Health Science has stated it has three initial areas of interest: Gastrointestinal, metabolic and brain health.
IBS sufferers typically experience abdominal discomfort accompanied by diarrhoea or constipation.