Nestlé Nutrition has signed an agreement with Australian pharmaceutical and nutraceutical company Phosphagenics to develop Phospha, which may help prevent and treat metabolic syndrome, for use in Nestlé products.

Nestlé Nutrition, a unit of the world's biggest food and beverage company, will contribute finding towards a full-dose-response pre clinical study of Phospha before full-scale evaluation of the product in humans.

In animal trials, Phospha has been shown to to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to prevent or reduce arterial plaque formation, as well as inhibiting the main inflammatory pathways involved in metabolic syndrome.

Nestlé in return has obtained the option to license Phospha for use in nutritional products targeting the prevention of metabolic syndrome. Upon completion of the pre-clinical trials, Nestlé may exercise this option upon payment of an option fee.

Harry Rosen, managing director of Phosphagenics, said: "Phosphagenics is delighted to have signed this agreement with Nestlé Nutrition, which builds on our collaborative work so far. As one of the world's largest nutrition companies, Nestlé Nutrition is the ideal partner to exploit the potential of Phospha E in nutritional products."