Lausanne, Switzerland | September 26, 2019 -- Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) announced today an investment in Before Brands, specialists in early childhood allergy prevention. With its significant minority stake, NHSc has acquired the exclusive licensing rights to Before Brands’ products outside the United States and also has an option to purchase all remaining equity in Before Brands in the future. Before Brands is the inventor of the SpoonfulOneTM line, the most advanced childhood nutritional products available to reduce food allergy development risk with 16 key allergens – more than 90% of foods associated with global food allergies and more than any other brand on the market. The core technology is based on research and intellectual property licensed from Stanford University, training the child’s immune system through consistent feeding over months to years.
“This investment enhances our growing business with a new dimension: allergy prevention,” said Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science. “The prevalence of food allergies among children is increasing, however, studies have shown that consistently exposing children at a very early age to a potential food allergen can reduce the development of an allergy to that food by up to 80 percent. It would be very difficult for parents to achieve this kind of consistent immune-system training to 16 different allergens on their own; SpoonfulOne is a convenient and natural solution that fits with the Nestlé Health Science mission of healthier lives through nutrition.”
“With Nestlé Health Science, we have secured the ideal partner so that we may advance our mission to help families around the world benefit from SpoonfulOne’s advanced protein science and the new recommendations that advocate proactive, long-term feeding strategies to reduce food allergy development risk,” said Ashley Dombkowski, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Before Brands. “Their expertise and global footprint will allow us to accelerate education, commercialization, and distribution activities globally.”
The proprietary SpoonfulOneTM multi-protein blend was developed by globally recognized pediatric allergist and protein biochemist, Kari Nadeau, M.D., Ph.D., inventor and co-founder, Before Brands.
“I co-founded Before Brands with Ashley Dombkowski in 2015 as an urgent response to the growing number of children around the world who are developing food allergies,” said Dr. Nadeau. “In the US, more than 320,000 children born this year alone will develop a food allergy by the time they turn 18 unless population-wide prevention campaigns are implemented. Given the accelerating rates of childhood food allergy not just in the US but in Europe, China, Australia, and beyond, it is imperative that we think globally about proactive solutions. This collaboration with Nestlé Health Science is a clear step toward our ultimate goal: A world without food allergy.”
The products are consistent with expert recommendations throughout the world which advocate inclusion of common food allergens early and often in childhood diets and they complement the World Health Organization’s breast-feeding guidelines. SpoonfulOneTM products are currently available in the U.S. on www.SpoonfulOne.com and Amazon, and will be available outside the U.S. in the second half of 2020. SpoonfulOneTM also partners with pediatricians across the U.S. who recommend it at four-to-six month well-baby visits. Nestlé Health Science is already active in infant and early childhood allergies with its range of products for infants (Althéra, Alfaré and Alfamino).
Terms of the financing and collaboration were not disclosed. Gurnet Point Capital, a private investment firm focused on healthcare, invested alongside NHSc in this financing and has led prior financing rounds for Before Brands. Gurnet Point Capital remains a significant minority equity investor in the company. The company received financial advice in this transaction from Evercore and Greg Horn of William Hood and Company. Legal advice was provided by Goodwin Procter LLP.
About Before Brands, Inc.
Before Brands is the inventor of SpoonfulOne, a line of pediatric nutritional products designed to reduce the risk that healthy babies will develop a food allergy. SpoonfulOne products are designed to be incorporated into the diet of healthy infants beginning around 4-6 months of age and used consistently through early childhood to support food allergy protection feeding recommendations. This patented, evidence-based consumer product platform is based on insights and intellectual property on the benefits of early, sustained, simultaneous exposure to multiple commonly allergenic proteins that was developed by co-founder and inventor, Dr. Kari Nadeau. Dr. Nadeau is also director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. The company is based in Menlo Park, CA and has been backed by Gurnet Point Capital along with a consortium of families from the food allergy community. Learn more at SpoonfulOne.com or follow @SpoonfulOne.
About Nestlé Health Science Nestlé Health Science (NHSc), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestlé, is a globally recognized leader in the field of nutritional science. At NHSc we are committed to empowering healthier lives through nutrition for consumers, patients and their healthcare partners. We offer an extensive consumer health portfolio of industry-leading medical nutrition, consumer and VMS brands that are science-based solutions covering all facets of health from prevention, to maintenance, all the way through to treatment. NHSc is redefining the way we approach the management of health in several key areas such as pediatric health, allergy, acute care, oncology, metabolic health, healthy aging, gastrointestinal health, and inborn errors of metabolism. Headquartered in Switzerland, NHSc employs more than 5,000 people around the world who are committed to making a difference in people’s lives, for a healthier today and tomorrow.
About Gurnet Point Capital
Gurnet Point Capital (GPC) is a unique health care fund founded by Ernesto Bertarelli and led by Christopher A. Viehbacher, who, together, have decades of expertise in an industry for which they share a passion, both as Chief Executives and as investors. With an initial allocation of $2 billion, GPC is investing long-term capital and supporting entrepreneurs in building a new generation of companies. Based in Cambridge, MA, its remit is global, encompassing life sciences and medical technologies. The fund invests across all stages of product development through to commercialisation and does so with an approach that is a hybrid of venture and private equity investing strategies. This approach is governed by a guiding tenet that even the earliest of technologies must present a clear commercial case, benefiting both patients and the healthcare system as a whole.
Before Brands, Inc
Jennifer Semetulskis at Edelman
Nestlé Health Science
Jacquelyn Campo at Nestlé Health Science
Gurnet Point Capital
Tom Johnson at Abernathy MacGregor