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Nestlé is set to acquire Aimmune in deal worth $2.6bn

Aimmune’s Palforzia therapy is the only FDA-approved peanut allergy drug

Nestlé has announced plans to acquire allergy specialist Aimmune Therapeutics in a deal worth $2.6bn, six months after the biopharmaceutical company’s Palforzia became the first peanut allergy drug to be cleared for use in the US.

Currently, Nestlé has a 25% equity ownership stake in Aimmune, but is set to acquire the outstanding shares in an all-cash offer made through its health division, Nestlé Health Science. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, although Nestlé expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

"This transaction brings together Nestlé's nutritional science leadership with one of the most innovative companies in food allergy treatment," said Greg Behar, chief executive officer of Nestlé Health Science.

"Together we will be able to offer a wide range of solutions that can transform the lives of people suffering from food allergies around the world,” he added.

Palforzia, previously known as AR101, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January for use in children aged four to 17 with a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy.

The oral immunotherapy is comprised of defatted peanut flour that is sprinkled over food and given in small but gradually increasing amounts over a six-month period, with the aim of encouraging the immune system to develop a tolerance to peanut allergies.

There are around 1.8 million people with a peanut allergy in the US, with one million of those being children, and it is the leading cause of death from food-induced allergic reactions in the US. The FDA estimates that only one in five children diagnosed with the allergy eventually outgrow the condition.

Aimmune’s launch of Palforzia has been hampered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as the health crisis continues to have an impact in the US.

The deal helps Nestlé, which is perhaps best known for its food and wellness brands, to expand into the health and life sciences sectors.

"This acquisition ensures a level of support for Palforzia and our pipeline that will further enhance their potential for patients around the world who are living with food allergies,” said Jayson Dallas, president and chief executive officer of Aimmune.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

1st September 2020

From: Sales

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