ZURICH Nestle has entered into a partnership with U.S. biotechnology firm Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) as it steps up its research into the link between diet and diseases.
CDI said in a statement on Wednesday it has signed a long-term agreement to supply stem cells to the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nestle is increasingly linking up food and science with its Health Science unit, set up in 2011 to pursue a growing demand for "medical foods" from an ageing population.
Last February, Nestle said it would buy U.S. company Pamlab, which makes such foods for patients with conditions including diabetic peripheral neuropathy, dementia, depression and high-risk pregnancy.
That deal followed the purchase in 2012 of a stake in U.S. firm Accera, which makes a medical food brand for Alzheimer's patients.
CDI develops and manufactures human cells in industrial quantities to precise specifications for research customers.
The Wall Street Journal said earlier that Nestle would use the cells to study the effect of nutrients found in foods and develop nutritionally enhanced drinks and other products.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Greg Mahlich)