Dean Best

Nestle turns to Chinese medicine

By: Dean Best - 29 November 2012 16:10

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In another sign the world's largest food maker is not just about Kit Kats, Nescafe or Maggi noodles, the Swiss food giant is now looking to use Chinese medicine in its fledgling health science business.

Nestle and pharma and healthcare group Chi-Med are going to team up and look into developing "nutritional and medicinal products" using botanical plants.

"This joint venture provides Nestlé Health Science with an opportunity to develop and commercialise truly innovative and scientifically validated botanical-based nutrition for personalised healthcare in gastrointestinal health," Luis Cantarell, president and CEO for Nestlé Health Science, said.

Hutchison MediPharma Limited, a subsidiary of Chi-Med, is already developing what Nestle called a "first-of-its-kind botanical product", to be taken orally, to manage moderate inflammatory bowel disease.

The venture may raise some eyebrows in the food industry but it is a sign Nestle is confident efforts to carve a third way between nutrition and pharmaceuticals will pay dividends in a world facing growing health challenges from non-communicable diseases and, in the developed world, ageing populations.

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