Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences to integrate leading cell engineering technologies for research on health and disease

Switzerland, March 12, 2012, - The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences has signed a license agreement with ViaCyte, Inc., a San Diego-based biotech company. The license agreement provides access to ViaCyte’s cell engineering technologies to support the Institute’s research programs aimed at developing personalized solutions for maintaining health and preventing disease. In particular, this agreement will allow the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences to develop models of human pancreatic cells and tissues. Pancreatic cells produce insulin to regulate levels of sugar in the blood and play a major role in the regulation of the energy metabolism and diabetes. The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences will develop cellular models based on adult-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that govern the progression to diabetes. The technologies licensed from ViaCyte will also benefit other areas of investigation at the Institute including Metabolic Health, Gastro-intestinal Health and Brain Health.

The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences is the first institute focused on the creation of science-based personalized nutritional solutions to maintain health and to help to prevent or alleviate chronic diseases. The Institute’s goal is to improve the understanding of the relationship between nutrition, life style, inherited factors and personal physiology, all of which can contribute to the susceptibility to chronic disorders. The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences is employing a systems biology approach to integrate data from multiple technologies in an effort to develop a more thorough characterization of health and disease. Multiple key technology platforms are being established at the Institute including cell engineering, mitochondrial function, functional genomics, proteomics, metabonomics, and bioinformatics. The technologies from ViaCyte will greatly facilitate building the Institute’s cell engineering platform for developing relevant cellular models of health and disease.