Nestlé is making a $112 million investment in a new kind of test

Dbv patch 2DBV TechnologiesA DBV patch-test for milk allergies

Nestlé
is moving far beyond candy bars with its latest investment in health science.
On Tuesday, it was announced the company is investing up to €100 million ($112 million) to develop a test that can diagnose milk allergies in infants and toddlers.

The promised test is being developed in partnership with biopharmaceutical company DBV Technologies. Called MAG1C, it is a ready-to-use patch that can be applied to a baby’s skin to diagnose cow’s milk allergies or intolerance.

“Our reach in the field of pediatric allergy makes Nestlé Health Science an ideal commercialization partner for DVB’s innovative diagnostic patch,” Greg Behar, the CEO of Nestlé Health Science, said in a statement. “This collaboration is another step in our strategy of advancing the role of nutrition through science-based innovation.”

Nestlé would take the role of commercialising the patch test, if it goes to market. DVB has already been selling a less-sophisticated version of the patch for 12 years, and expects to submit the new test for approval from global regulatory authorities by 2021.

Nestle crunch chocolateWikimedia CommonsNestlé’s revenue for candy is down, while the company’s health category grows

The company, best known for junk foods, has recently majorly invested in the nutrition and health science business, creating medicines to treat issues such as malnutrition, digestive health, and even acute kidney injury, reports Bloomberg. From 2013 to 2015, the company’s nutrition and health category has grown 25% in revenue, while its confectionery revenue has dropped 14%.

In addition to expanding Nestlé’s health science business, the allergy test could help attract customers to Nestlé’s formula and baby-food business. Last year, the Nestlé unit that sells infant formula and baby food reported sales of $10.6 billion.

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