Bay Area's Aimmune Gets $145 Million Infusion From Nestlé Health Science

Bay Area's Aimmune Gets $145 Million Infusion From Nestlé Health Science November 4, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

BRISBANE, Calif. – Nestle Health Science took a $145 million equity stake in Bay Area’s Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc. to bolster the biopharmaceutical company’s research into developing treatments for life-threatening food allergies.

The $145 million investment gives Nestle 7,552,084 shares of Aimmune’s common stock at a price of $19.20 per share. As a result, Nestle has a 15 percent stake in the company. In addition to the equity stake, the two companies also entered into a two-year strategic collaboration for food allergy therapies, Aimmune announced this morning. Aimmune is developing immunotherapy treatments for food allergies using its CODIT system—Characterized Oral Desensitization ImmunoTherapy. According to the agreement, Aimmune will retain all current and future pipeline assets developed with its CODIT approach, including AR101, the company’s investigational oral biologic desensitization therapy for peanut allergy, which is currently in Phase III clinical development. As part of the deal, Nestle will provide ongoing scientific, regulatory, commercial expertise and advice to Aimmune through the pipeline forum.

Stephen Dilly, chief executive officer of Aimmune, said the infusion of cash from Nestle will provide the company with a strong cash position and will allow it to extend its pipeline beyond AR101.

In June 2015, Aimmune won Breakthrough Therapy Designation status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for AR101. The designation is intended to expedite the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions. The criteria for Breakthrough Therapy Designation require preliminary clinical evidence that demonstrates the drug may have substantial improvement on at least one clinically significant endpoint over available therapy.

Nestle Health Science is a division of the food packaging giant of the same name. The health division has a history of advancing nutritional therapies. Given that some of its products do contain allergens, such as peanuts, it makes sense for Nestle to work with companies aiming to curb allergic reactions to food products.

“We are excited to have Nestlé Health Science alongside as we pursue our development plans and seek to realize the full promise of our CODIT approach by addressing the important questions in food allergy around optimizing treatments, achieving sustained unresponsiveness, and exploring the science around tolerance,” Dilly added.

Nestle Health is no stranger to working with pharma companies. Last year, Nestle Health Science struck a $1.9 billion deal with Seres Therapeutics to further develop treatments for C. diff and inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

As part of the Aimmune deal, Greg Behar, CEO of Nestle Health Sciences, will take a spot on Aimmune’s board of directors. Behar said Nestle Health Sciences is making investments to “change the approach to food allergy management” to make a difference in the lives of consumers.

Back to news