08 Nov 2016 --- Nestlé Health Science has announced that it will make an equity investment of $145 million in US-based Aimmune Therapeutics, to accelerate the development of technology designed to desensitize people with food allergies, protecting them from the consequences of accidental exposure.
Up to 250 million people globally are estimated to suffer from food allergies, between 5-8% of who children and 1-2% of adults.
Amongst the top eight food allergies, peanut allergy, which is generally a lifelong condition, is estimated to impact 6 million people in the US and in Europe or between 0.6 and 1.3% of the population in the US.
Aimmune’s Characterized Oral Desensitization ImmunoTherapy approach to treating life-threatening food allergies is based on extensive independent scientific research.
It demonstrates that most patients with food allergies can become desensitized to the allergens, or proteins, in a particular, food, through the oral administration of gradually increasing amounts of the allergens.
It aims to provide a transformative treatment option that goes beyond the current standard of care of avoiding food allergens and carrying epinephrine for administration in case of accidental exposure.
Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science, who will take a seat on the Aimmune Board, stated: “Food allergies have a huge personal impact and are a health economic burden.”
“We are investing and innovating to change the approach to food allergy management with integrated approaches from diagnostics to nutrition solutions and now biologics, where Aimmune’s proprietary approach has transformational potential in lives of patients and families.”
Aimmune’s lead Characterized Oral Desensitization ImmunoTherapy product candidate, AR101 for peanut allergy, is a characterized, regulated, oral biological drug product containing the protein profile found in peanuts designed to desensitize patients with peanut allergy.
The ongoing Phase III trial, conducted by Aimmune, is expected to deliver results in 4Q2017, which – if positive – may support the filing of marketing authorization in the US and Europe.
Stephen Dilly, CEO of Aimmune, said, “Nestlé Health Science is an ideal partner that brings a shared vision, global scale and complementary capabilities to this collaboration, making the whole more than the sum of the parts.”
“We are excited to have Nestlé Health Science alongside as we pursue our development plans and seek to realize the full promise of our CODIT approach by addressing the important questions in food allergy around optimizing treatments, achieving sustained unresponsiveness, and exploring the science around tolerance.”
Having already established a portfolio of nutritional solutions for pediatric food allergy and intolerances, the investment extends Nestlé Health Science’s interests in the food allergy arena.
The strategic investment launches a two-year strategic collaboration between the two companies, the terms of which enable the parties to engage on Aimmune’s current and future oral immunotherapy development programs through a newly established pipeline forum.
Nestlé Health Science will provide ongoing scientific, regulatory and commercial expertise and advice to Aimmune through the pipeline forum, and in addition, has a three-month exclusive right of first negotiation for any development program in the event Aimmune considers licensing or partnering such a program.
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