Nestlé Health Science, a fully owned subsidiary of Nestlé, and the pharmaceutical and healthcare group Chi-Med have agreed to form a 50/50 joint venture to be named Nutrition Science Partners Limited (NSP). NSP will research, develop, manufacture and market innovative nutritional and medicinal products derived from botanical plants, and will focus on gastrointestinal health and may in the future expand into the metabolic disease and brain health areas.
The partnership gives Nestlé Health Science access to Chi-Med’s traditional Chinese medicine library of more than 50,000 extracts from over 1,200 different herbal plants and includes the access to use the botanical research and development platform in gastrointestinal areas, which includes discovery research, non-clinical and pharmaceutical science functions and an understanding of the botanical guidelines and regulations.
“This joint venture provides Nestlé Health Science with an opportunity to develop and commercialize truly innovative and scientifically validated botanical-based nutrition for personalized healthcare in gastrointestinal health,” said Luis Cantarell, president and chief executive officer for Nestlé Health Science. “Nestlé Health Science will bring unique competencies in nutritional sciences, diagnostics and commercial capabilities, and Chi-Med will provide its best-in-class traditional Chinese medicine library and discovery platform, which will be the basis of Nutrition Science Partners’ future gastrointestinal pipeline.”
Hutchison MediPharma Limited, a subsidiary of Chi-Med, is already advanced in the research and development into a first-of-its-kind botanical product, to be taken orally, to manage mild to moderate inflammatory bowel disease. Its main ingredient is extracted from ‘andrographis paniculata’, an herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The new partnership will further support the product development during its next stage of clinical trials, which is scheduled to start in early 2013.