Nestle Invests $200 Mln More in Aimmune After Peanut Allergy Drug Approval

By Reuters Staff

February 06, 2020

(Reuters) - Aimmune Therapeutics Inc said on Wednesday the health science arm of Nestle SA will invest an additional $200 million in the drugmaker, bringing the Swiss company's total investment to $473 million.

The investment, which sent Aimmune shares up 11.7% in premarket trading, comes days after the company won U.S. approval for the first therapy intended to reduce and potentially eliminate allergic reactions to peanuts in children.

As packaged food sales slow amid changing tastes, Nestle has been trying to become a "nutrition, health and wellness" company, with its unit, Nestle Health Science, playing a pivotal role.

Aimmune said Nestle's total investment will amount to 19.9% of its outstanding common stock and voting power and 25.6% stake in its fully diluted capitalization.

Separately, the Brisbane, California-based company said it had obtained a worldwide license to an experimental therapy for allergic asthma from Xencor Inc for an upfront payment of $5 million in cash and $5 million in equity.

Aimmune said Nestle's additional investment would help fund the development of the therapy licensed from Xencor as well as the company's launch of peanut allergy drug Palforzia.