Nestlé, AC Immune collaborate to fight against Alzheimer's disease
You may be familiar with the name Nestlé and its status as the one of the largest food groups in the world. What you may not know, however, is that they are venturing further into the realm of medicine.
The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) is part of Nestlé’s global R&D network and performs fundamental research for the understanding of health and disease and for developing science-based targeted nutritional solutions.
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Most recently, the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences has signed a research collaboration agreement with the Swiss biotech company AC Immune to develop an Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic test.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. With no cure, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
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In an effort to combat these numbers, AC Immune will offer Nestlé its expertise in biology and pathology of the Tau protein (abundantly found within the central nervous system) with its laboratory capacity to support the research program. The NIHS will provide its technology platform for antibody detection, in order to identify and validate an in vitro diagnostic test for the highly sensitive detection of the tau protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood plasma.
AC Immune, which already has established ties with Roche and Johnson & Johnson in drug research, said on Wednesday it would develop a minimally invasive diagnostic assay for Tau with the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences, reported Reuters.
This is Nestlé’s second medical deal in a week and reveals the progression towards the more profitable medical field as sales of processed foods slow in many markets. Over the last two years, Nestlé has been investing in the market for health care products that have higher margins than the coffee, soups and sweets it is generally known for.
The collaboration between Nestlé and AC Immune shows promise, as globally there are already 44 million individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.