The staged acquisition of Phagenesis by Nestlé Health Science will benefit patients with dysphagia

September 2016


Manchester, England, 1 September 2016 – Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) and Phagenesis announced today that NHSc is entering into a staged, milestone-based acquisition of Phagenesis, a medical device company that has developed a new treatment for dysphagia.

Under the terms of the agreement, NHSc will make an upfront payment, followed by milestone-based funding, while Phagenesis completes the clinical evaluation of Phagenyx®*. The staged acquisition will be based upon successful completion of European and US development programs anticipated by 2019. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Reinhard Krickl, CEO of Phagenesis, said: “Nestlé Health Science is the leading global player in dysphagia with capabilities and reach to enable Phagenesis to accelerate the development and deployment of Phagenyx® to patients around the world.”

Dysphagia, the inability to swallow safely, is a condition with high prevalence as well as high clinical and health economic burden. Dysphagia occurs in around 29% to 55% of stroke patients1, with 15 million people worldwide suffering a stroke2 every year. It is also a common consequence of numerous other diseases, and is often under-diagnosed in various patient populations, e.g. in the ICU. Dysphagia is a debilitating condition that frequently leads to life-threatening complications, including aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition and dehydration. Furthermore, patients with dysphagia experience a dramatic reduction in Quality-of-Life3.

Oern Stuge, Chairman of Phagenesis, said: “Nestlé Health Science’ investment positions the company well to address this immense unmet medical need.”

Currently, the management of neurogenic dysphagia is complex. Available options can improve the status and the symptoms, but few are treating the cause. Phagenesis has developed Phagenyx®, a novel medical device designed to restore the neurological control of swallowing. Phagenyx® is based on ground breaking research that establishes a mechanism of action of delivering Pharyngeal Electrical Stimulation (PES) to treat the neurological cause of dysphagia.

Gunnar Weikert, Director of Phagenesis and Founder of Inventages Venture Capital, commented: “As a long-term investor in Phagenesis we are pleased about this significant investment by Nestle Health Science.”

Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science, stated: “Dysphagia is a strategic focus for Nestlé Health Science. This innovation can bring a new dimension to swallowing rehabilitation that can be transformational from a patient and healthcare professional perspective.” 


* Phagenyx® is CE marked in Europe. In the United States, Phagenyx® is currently not available for sales.


1       Martino, R., Foley N., Bhogalet S. et al. Dysphagia after stroke: incidence, diagnosis, and pulmonary complications. Stroke 2005; 36, 2756–2763.


3       Marik P et al. Aspiration Pneumonia and Dysphagia in the Elderly. Chest 2003.124;328-336.


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Phagenesis begins new RCT

November 2015

Following the successful single centre trial at Münster Phagenesis has started recruiting patients to their multi-centre PHAST TRAC trial.

Update: The recruitment for PHAST TRAC trial has finished.

For more information click here .

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RCT shows PES enables decannulation of patients

October 2015

In a pilot study conducted in Münster PES enhanced remission of dysphagia as assessed with fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES), thereby enabling decannulation in 75% of patients.

This trial is published in Intensive Care Medicine Journal read more.

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Healthy Volunteers needed for new products testing

September 2015

We are looking for healthy people interested in doing research to help us test our new devices for comfort and tolerability before we seek CE mark and launch them commercially.

The study will involve a single 3-hour visit to our research unit where you will be asked to swallow a tube (our new naso-gastric treatment tube) and having some pictures and video recorded of the tube in place.

We are a Manchester based medical device company that have developed a treatment for unsafe swallowing (neurogenic dysphagia) for people with brain injuries such as stroke or diseases such as Parkinson’s. Our treatment stimulates nerves in the throat to trigger the brain’s own repair systems so that swallowing can once again be safe.

For further information please contact:

0161-820-4525           š

Volunteers will be reimbursed for time and inconvenience.

Update: The recruitment for the Healthy Volunteer Study has finished.

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ESSD support World Swallowing Day to increase awareness of dysphagia

December 2014

World Swallowing Day is 12 December.

To increase awareness about dysphagia, the European Society for Swallowing Disorders (ESSD) has created a short survey  for health care professionals working in dysphagia. Click on the link: and fill in the information about the patients you have screened or assessed for dysphagia during the week 8-12 December, the type of patient and tool used and whether you used the ICD code in the medical report.

All participants will be recognized on the ESSD website for collaborating in the survey and will receive the results which we hope will collect valuable information from all over the world.

Please join us in this initiative to increase awareness of dysphagia.

Update: Thank you very much for your contribution to this project! You can see the results following this link: