Nestle Health Science to buy British medical device company Phagenesis

Nestle Health Science, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swiss food and drink giant Nestlé S.A., today struck a deal to buy British medical device company Phagenesis in a phased manner.

Nestlé Health Science did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said that it will make an upfront payment, followed by milestone-based funding, while Phagenesis completes the development of its innovative pharyngeal electrical stimulation device to treat dysphagia Phagenyx

The staged acquisition will be based upon the successful completion of clinical development programs in Europe and the US expected by 2019.

Phagenyx is a pharyngeal electrical stimulation device to treat dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) commonly experienced by post stroke patients, but also by elderly patients and by patients post mechanical ventilation in intensive care units.

Phagenyx delivers an electrical signal optimised for each patient to the back of the patient's throat. The treatment restores the neurological control of swallowing by 'kick-starting' the re-organisation of the brain.

Dysphagia is a condition with high prevalence, and high clinical and health economic burden, with annual cost of dysphagia in hospitalized patients to be over $500 million.

It is estimated to occur in 29 per cent to 55 per cent of stroke patients, and every year 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke. Patients with dysphagia are at risk of life-threatening complications such as aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition and dehydration.

Phagenesis based in Manchester, UK, focuses on the treatment of dysphagia. It was formed in 2007 to translate the research of Prof. Shaheen Hamdy from the University of Manchester, into a non-invasive technology suitable for standard clinical practice in hospitals.

It has developed the only treatment for neurogenic dysphagia based on pharyngeal electrical stimulation that treats its cause.

Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science, said, ''Dysphagia is a strategic focus for Nestlé Health Science. This innovation can bring a new dimension to swallowing rehabilitation that can be transformational from a patient and healthcare professional perspective.''

Reinhard Krickl, CEO of Phagenesis, said ''Nestlé Health Science is the leading global player in dysphagia with capabilities and reach to enable Phagenesis to accelerate the development and deployment of Phagenyx around the world.''

Nestlé Health Science focuses on developing nutritional products, but lately has been buying small sized companies or start-ups that develop treatments for conditions like gut infections, muscle loss, chronic kidney and Alzheimer's disease.