(Bloomberg) — Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, formed a research alliance with a Swiss drug developer to work on a test that could diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages.
AC Immune SA, based in Lausanne, will provide expertise to develop a diagnostic test, according to a statement released Wednesday. It’s based on an antibody technology that originated at Prometheus Laboratories Inc., which Nestle acquired in 2011.
Nestle has been building a business that would treat chronic disease through nutrition as the food company seeks new growth markets after cornering leading positions in categories such as bottled water, pet-food and soluble coffee. There are 9.9 million new cases of Alzheimer’s each year, and the cost of dementia has increased to $818 billion from $604 billion in 2010, AC Immune said.