Firm’s newly established business will use purchase to move into gastrointestinal testing.

Nestlé’s recently established Nestlé  Health Science operation will acquire specialty pharmaceutical and diagnostics firm Prometheus Laboratories. Prometheus is focused primarily on the development of products for the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders in gastroenterology and oncology. Just last month the firm inked a deal with Wilex granting it U.S. commercialization rights to the Phase III-stage clear-cell renal cell cancer candidate Rencarex® (girentuximab).

Nestlé says acquisition of Prometheus will facilitate its move into the gastrointestinal diagnostics field, and particularly the development of personalized nutrition strategies for preventing and managing chronic health conditions. “Prometheus’s leading-edge diagnostics technology and outstanding sales force will help us to develop an integrated approach to personalized healthcare,” comments Luis Cantarell, Nestlé Health Science president and CEO.

For its part, Prometheus maintains becoming part of Nestlé  Health Science will create new opportunities for exploiting the latter’s nutritional product offerings and expanding its existing pharmaceutical and diagnostic model into a diagnostic, nutritional, and therapeutic model. Combining the two firms’ expertise will also allow a push into other areas of interest, including metabolic and brain-related diseases. “With Nestlé Health Sciences’ support, we will accelerate the development of our innovative diagnostic platforms for gastroenterology and oncology and potentially into additional important therapeutic areas,” comments Joseph M. Limber, Prometheus president and CEO.

Prometheus reported net sales of $519.0 million for 2010, up 26% on the 2009 figure. For the five-year period 2005 through 2010, the company’s net sales increased by a compounded annual growth rate of 30%.

Nestlé Health Science started operating at the start of 2011. The firm is run at arm’s length from Nestlé’s main food, beverages, and nutrition activities, and incorporates the Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition business, which had a turnover of CHF 1.6 billion in 2009.

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