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.