Nestlé Health Science to buy Prometheus Laboratories


Makes a strategic move into gastrointestinal diagnostics

Nestlé Health Science has agreed to acquire Prometheus Laboratories, a San Diego, US-based firm that specialises in diagnostics and in-licensed speciality pharmaceuticals in gastroenterology and oncology.

Prometheus focuses on conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The financial terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, are not being disclosed.

Luis Cantarell, Nestlé Health Science president and chief executive, said the acquisition is ‘a strategic move into gastrointestinal diagnostics’ and would enable ‘new personalised healthcare solutions based on diagnostics, pharma and nutrition’ to be developed.

Prometheus’s expertise and r&d in gastrointestinal diagnostics will accelerate the research programme that is being established by Nestlé Health Science and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, which began operations in January. It will also create new opportunities for developing personalised nutrition strategies that will help in the management and prevention of chronic health conditions. The r&d pipeline will encompass other areas of interest for Nestlé Health Science, such as metabolic conditions and brain health.

Joseph M Limber, Prometheus Laboratories president and ceo, said: ‘We intend to leverage Nestlé Health Science’s products and geographic presence to add the nutritional dimension to our successful business model.’

About 500 employees of Prometheus will join Nestlé Health Science as a result of the deal. In 2012 Prometheus’s annualised sales are expected to be around US$250m.

In February, Nestlé Health Science acquired London-based CM&D Pharma, which specialises in the development of products for patients with kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer. The company’s leading product, Fostrap, is a medical food in the form of a chewing gum for kidney patients who have an elevated level of phosphate in the blood (hyperphosphataemia).