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Nestlé Health Science invests in early childhood food allergy prevention

Nature's Heart

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — 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.