Nestlé Health Science, which becomes operational on the first day of 2011, will incorporate the existing global Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition business. Luis Cantarell, the company's designated President and CEO described the announcement as “an exciting new business opportunity […] which will have a positive long-term impact on peoples' lives.
“Personalised health science nutrition will create shared value, both for Nestlé and for society, by successfully preventing, improving and treating acute and chronic medical conditions. I am looking forward to getting this ground-breaking work underway,” added Cantarell.
The second organisation being created is the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, which will be based in the multi-disciplinary scientific environment of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne. The Institute joins Nestlé's global R&D network and will be run by Emmanuel Baetge, former Chief Scientific Officer of ViaCyte, a biotech company based in San Diego.
The company said it will invest hundreds of millions of Swiss francs over the next ten years to establish a “world-class Institute of Health Sciences”. Research will focus on the translation of biomedical science into nutritional strategies to improve health and longevity.
"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,” said Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.
“Nestlé has the expertise, the science, the resources and the organisation to play a major role in seeking alternative solutions. Personalised health science nutrition is about finding efficient and cost effective ways to prevent and treat acute and chronic diseases in the 21st century," he added.
Indeed, NutraIngredients' Shane Starling in Lausanne reports that Brabeck-Letmathe talked of divesting Alcon because it did not fit Nestle's vision of personaised nutrition, while Cantarell noted that the acquisition of Vitaflo in August as an example of a company that did fit this vision.
There were also hints of future expansion plans, said Starling. "We will look at promising opportunities arising from our venture funds, and strengthen links into Nestle's wider innovation network of suppliers, start ups and universities," said Cantarell.
"The creation of Nestlé Health Science S.A. and the Nestlé 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,” said Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé. “The new set-up 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 Nestlé's extremely important food, beverages and nutrition business, as embodied by our binding promise of Good Food, Good Life."
NutraIngredients will bring more insight to this breaking news tomorrow.