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Nestle raises stake in food allergy drug developer Aimmune

Nestle raises stake in food allergy drug developer Aimmune
A Nestle logo is pictured on a coffee factory in Orbe, Switzerland May 31, 2018. Picture taken May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse   -   Copyright  DENIS BALIBOUSE(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – The health science arm of Nestle SA <NESN.S> will pay $98 million (76 million pounds) to raise its stake in Aimmune Therapeutics <AIMT.O>, as the drug developer prepares to submit a marketing application for its peanut allergy treatment by the end of the year.

Following the deal, which gives Nestle a stake of about 19 percent in Aimmune, Nestle would have invested $273 million in the company.

The companies also extended their two-year strategic collaboration to develop therapies for food allergy by another two years, Aimmune said.

In the United States, there is no approved treatment for peanut allergies, a medical condition that is becoming increasingly common and could be fatal.

With its oral drug, AR101, Aimmune hopes to be one of the first companies with a treatment on the market.

The investment finances Aimmune “well beyond” the anticipated approval and launch of the drug in the United States, Chief Executive Officer Jayson Dallas said in a statement.

Nestle Health Science first invested $145 million in Aimmune in 2016, followed by $30 million as part of the company’s public offering in February 2018.

Nestle’s per share price of $30.27 is slightly below Aimmune’s close on Friday at $30.29. The companies expect to close the equity investment by the end of 2018.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru)

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