Working For Infant Health
BLIS Technologies Ltd and Nestlé Nutrition agree to work on
Probiotics for infant nutrition products
Dunedin (New Zealand) and Vevey (Switzerland), March 2007 – New Zealand biotechnology company BLIS Technologies and Nestlé Nutrition, a unit of Nestlé SA, have agreed to carry out research and development of BLIS probiotics for use in infant nutrition products and targeting upper respiratory tract infections.
Upper respiratory tract infections are very common in infants and there are no effective methods of preventing or reducing the risk of these infections. Scientific evidence suggests that the BLIS Technologies’ probiotics – beneficial bacteria which occur naturally in the upper respiratory tract and which have “built-in” defences against pathogenic or disease causing bacteria – can boost infants’ immune systems and may prevent upper respiratory tract infections. Nestlé Nutrition and BLIS Technologies will work exclusively together to incorporate these probiotics into infant nutrition products and provide clinical evidence of their effectiveness
Under the terms of the agreement, Nestlé Nutrition will fund BLIS Technologies’ research efforts in this area through a series of milestone and R&D expense payments. BLIS Technologies will be responsible for development of probiotics suitable for incorporation into infant nutrition products and supplying the probiotics for clinical trial purposes. Nestlé Nutrition will be responsible for clinical studies. Nestlé Nutrition will commercialise the probiotics under licence as part of its range of infant nutrition products.
For BLIS Technologies, this agreement is a major step. If the project proceeds according to plan, the company will commit significant resources to the development over the next three years. This will enable the company to build a platform of probiotics with significant market opportunities.
The collaboration with BLIS Technologies is part of the Nestlé Nutrition commitment to invest in cutting-edge science that can enable it to launch innovative products and services with clear consumer benefits.
About BLIS Technologies
BLIS Technologies was formed in June 2000 to pursue the commercialisation of probiotics which produce natural antibacterial peptides or proteins that are able to kill or control the growth of other closely related bacteria. The first such substance which BLIS Technologies has developed is from a micro-organism called Streptococcus salivarius, “BLIS K12” which produces an antibacterial protein named Salivaricin B. Salivaricin B is referred to as a “BLIS” (or Bacteriocin Like Inhibitory Substances), hence the Company's name BLIS Technologies Limited. Salivaricin B helps to provide protection against infection by Streptococcus pyogenes. Streptococcus pyogenes is the most common cause of bacterial sore throats (strep throat), and also the cause of rarer but more serious illnesses such as scarlet fever and rheumatic fever. BLIS Technologies acquired from Otago University of New Zealand, the extensive collection of BLIS producing organisms gathered by Professor John Tagg over a 20 year period.
Nestlé Nutrition is an autonomous unit within Nestlé managing and developing the group's specialised nutrition business. Nestlé Nutrition will enhance the quality of people's lives through products and services that deliver recognised benefits to consumers with specific nutritional needs. Its portfolio – covering infant nutrition, healthcare nutrition, performance nutrition and weight management – includes such trusted and well-recognised brands as: NAN, LACTOGEN, NESLAC, NUTREN, PEPTAMEN, POWERBAR, MUSASHI and JENNY CRAIG.