Nestle launches drive for health nutrition business

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Nestle announced Monday it was setting up new health-oriented subsidiaries to exploit growing business opportunities for foods that help with ageing and conditions such as heart trouble.

Nestle Health Science and the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences will "pioneer a new industry between food and pharma," the Swiss food giant said in a statement.

The new company will incorporate Nestle's existing HealthCare Nutrition business, which had a turnover of 1.6 billion Swiss francs (1.2 billion euros/ 1.6 billion dollars) in 2009.

The group said it would invest hundreds of millions of Swiss francs over the next decade to build the biomedical health sciences research institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne.

"The combination of health economics, changing demographics and advances in health science show that our existing health care systems, which focus on treating sick people, are not sustainable and need redesigning," said Nestle chairman Peter Brabeck Letmathe.

Chief executive Paul Bulcke said the group wanted to "seize this promising business opportunity."

© 2010 AFP

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