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(Bloomberg) -- Nestle SA, the world’s biggest food company, has invested $65 million in Seres Health Inc., a U.S. developer of drugs aimed to treat diseases by improving the effectiveness of microorganisms in the human body.
Greg Behar, chief executive officer of the Swiss firm’s Nestle Health Science unit, will join the board of directors of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical company, Nestle and Seres said today.
The cash injection will help Seres fund final-phase clinical testing of its most advanced experimental treatment. The drug, called SER-109, is designed to prevent the recurrence of Clostridium difficile infections, which affect the digestive system, causing diarrhea and severe bowel swelling. Nestle created its health science unit in 2011 to combine existing medical nutrition businesses with investments in startups to fight chronic diseases with food-related products.
Seres is working on drugs that target the microbiome, the bacteria in the human body that promotes health. Such products may help fight infections as well as metabolic and inflammatory diseases, the U.S. company said.
“Nestle Health Science has identified the microbiome as an area of strategic importance,” Nestle’s Behar said in the statement. “We expect that investing in an industry leader like Seres Health will help us reach our ambitions of addressing health conditions in the area of gastrointestinal, metabolic and brain health.”
The microbiome is made up of about 100 trillion microorganisms that live in organs such as the intestines and help support the immune system, Nestle said.
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