Personalised nutrition is one of the emerging business areas on which DSM is focusing as part of its Vision 2010 strategy. It has already shown it is serious about the potential in this area by making two investments in US company Sciona. The most recent of these, in April this year, was of US$6.5m (€5.4m).
IntegraGen has developed a proprietary technology platform known as GenomeHIP, which can identify disease genes by comparing the disease genes of family members affected by the same disease. Whilst its main focus is on medical/pharma applications, it recognises potential uses for the platform in nutrition.
A spokesperson for DSM told NutraIngredients.com that the collaborative programme in weight management involves developing test content that would support the use of its existing weight management ingredients and their effect on genes.
It is anticipated that the collaboration could also highlight areas for future ingredient development within the weight management category.
Weight management is one of the pillars of DSM's healthy ingredient portfolio. Last month it announced the acquisition of Lipid Technologies Provider (LTP), developer of oat and palm oil-based satiety ingredient Olibra/Fabuless, for €18m.
Plans are afoot to leverage LTP's technology for new ingredients in weight management and other health areas. Other ingredients in the DSM Food Specialities fold include Teavigo green tea extract and Lafti probiotic.
While it is hard to predict how long it will be before DSM and its partners are ready to introduce personalised nutrition solutions to the market, the company called today's news "a stepping stone in weight management and personalised nutrition, which moves DSM into an excellent position for future developments in these fields".
In the meantime, DSM Food Specialities is keeping a close eye on how nutritional ingredients can help meet the needs of patients. Last month it said it is reinforcing its links with European Genetic Alliances Network and the International Genetic Alliance to help inform the development of new nutritional products to optimise and maintain health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
The Dutch company is primarily interested in the nutrition applications of IntegraGen's genetic tests, but said if opportunities arose on the medical/pharma side "we would not hesitate".
IntegraGen's existing pipeline of tests based on GenomeHIP relate to metabolic syndrome and neuropsychiatric disorders.