HEALTH

Nestlé focuses on science of health

BY Michael Johnsen

VEVEY, Switzerland — With the new year approaching, Nestlé Health Science S.A. and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences — both created to pioneer a new industry between food and pharma — became operational.

“The creation of Nestlé Health Science S.A. and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences is the best way to focus our attention and organize our unique capabilities and competencies to seize this promising business opportunity,” stated Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke at the time Nestlé announced the formation of the two new companies. “The new setup will give us a pioneering and leading role in this entirely new industry, while at the same time allowing us to keep the necessary focus on Nestlé’s extremely important food, beverages and nutrition business, as embodied by our binding promise of ‘Good Food, Good Life.’”

“The combination of health economics, changing demographics and advances in health science show that our existing healthcare systems, which focus on treating sick people, are not sustainable and need redesigning,” added Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestlé Health Science S.A. “Nestlé has the expertise, the science, the resources and the organization to play a major role in seeking alternative solutions. Personalized health science nutrition is about finding efficient and cost-effective ways to prevent and treat acute and chronic diseases in the 21st century,” he said.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Nestlé is investing $509 million over 10 years in the institute, which will carry out deeper scientific research into such areas as genetics and DNA.

With these two organizations, Nestlé will be exploring personalized health science nutrition to prevent and treat such health conditions as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nestlé Health Science S.A. will incorporate the existing global Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition business, which had a turnover of $1.6 billion in 2009. Nestlé Health Science S.A. also will have access to external scientific and technological know-how through Nestlé’s innovation network, as well as a number of venture capital funds in which the group has interests.

Luis Cantarell, the company’s designated president and CEO, will report to Bulcke, Nestlé CEO, in his capacity as managing director of the board of Nestlé Health Science S.A., which is chaired by Brabeck-Letmathe.

The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences will be part of Nestlé’s global research and development network. The Institute will be run by Emmanuel Baetge, former chief scientific officer of ViaCyte, a biotech company based in San Diego, who will report to Nestlé chief technology officer Werner Bauer and a steering committee composed of both Nestlé and external members.

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Vicks huddles up with Drew Brees to find most dedicated NFL fan

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble brands Vicks DayQuil and Vicks NyQuil last week kicked off its “Search for the Most Dedicated NFL Fan” — a new Facebook contest featuring two tickets to Super Bowl XLV as the top prize.

P&G has partnered with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees to help get the word out about the contest.

Fans who visit Facebook.com/NyQuil will choose the finalist they feel is most deserving of the two Super Bowl tickets and embodies the spirit of the most dedicated fan among 32 fan finalists, one from each NFL team.

The grand-prize winner of “Vicks NyQuil/DayQuil Search for the Most Dedicated NFL Fan” contest will be announced on Jan. 13.

Vicks is a sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV.

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IWPR: Affordable Care Act provision to drive breast-feeding rates up 4%

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — According to a new report released Friday by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a provision in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that requires employers to provide nursing breaks and a private, sanitary place to express breast milk for most mothers employed on an hourly basis will drive breast-feeding rates up by 4% in the first six months. That translates into as many as 165,000 new moms breast-feeding each year, or more than 1 million new moms in six years, noted Robert Drago, director of research with IWPR.

The ACA provisions for breast-feeding cover three-fifths of employed women living in families below 350% of the government poverty line (about $50,000 for a family of two). That’s especially important because it includes a large number of hourly employees — a group that has been historically low in breast-feeding, Drago said.

All told, 19 million women of breast-feeding age will benefit from the new breast-feeding protections, Drago said.

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