Nestle snaps up medical gum firm

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Kit Kat maker Nestle has acquired a British pharmaceuticals company which makes a chewing gum for kidney disease sufferers

A British pharmaceuticals firm behind an innovative new chewing gum to help kidney disease sufferers has been snapped up by Swiss food giant Nestle.

Nestle has bought London-based CM&D Pharma for an undisclosed sum to add to its fledgling division specialising in science-based nutritional treatments, called Nestle Health Science.

CM&D Pharma makes products including Fostrap gum for patients with chronic kidney disease, which is currently in late-stage trials.

The firm was founded in 2007 by president Danilo Casadei Massari, with chief executive Stephen Appelbee joining soon after to help grow the company.

It focuses on developing products for the dietary management of widespread conditions.

Fostrap – its lead product – works by helping remove high levels of phosphate from kidney disease patients, collected in the saliva as they chew the gum.

CM&D also makes products for those with intestinal pain and also a colon protector to help prevent colon cancer.

The firm was previously backed financially by venture capital firm Inventages Group, in which Nestle invests.

The takeover comes just a month after Nestle launched its Nestle Health Science division.

Luis Cantarell, president and chief executive of Nestle Health Science, said: “This acquisition is an excellent fit with Nestle Health Sciences strategic goal of being a pioneer in the promising area of science-based nutrition.”

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