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Nestlé boosts its medical nutrition sector

By Philip Smith

Swiss firm buys two gastrointestinal products from Dublin-based pharmaceutical company Allergan

Nestle boosts its medical nutrition sector

Nestlé, the Swiss food firm best known for brands such as Haägen-Dazs, KitKat and Nescafe, is expanding into medical nutrition, buying two gastrointestinal products from Dublin-based pharmaceutical company Allergan: Zenpep and Viokace.

Both brands are for those with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), a condition where the pancreas does not provide sufficient enzymes to properly digest fats, proteins and sugars.

Financial details of the acquisition have not been revealed. In 2018, Allergan reported Zenpep sales of $237m (£181m, €215m).

The sale forms part of the regulatory approval process for the $63bn takeover of Allergan by the US biopharmaceutical firm, AbbVie, which requires some brand divestment. Allergan is selling other brands to AstraZeneca as part of that process.

“Nestlé’s acquisition of Zenpep is a strategic decision that will enhance our growing medical nutrition portfolio,” said Nestle CEO Mark Schneider

This move aims to boost the firm’s range of nutrition products that combine medicine and food. Nestlé is looking to expand in sectors where growth may outpace its mainstream food business.

“This is a significant opportunity for our business in the US to add a complementary product to our existing range of nutrition products that support food ingestion, digestion and absorption,” said Greg Behar, head of Nestlé Health Science.

The purchase will be finalised in tandem with the AbbVie-Allergan deal.

FURTHER READING: Nestle to invest 2bn Swiss francs in shift to recyclable plastics

FURTHER READING: Apple launches app to gather health data

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