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Nestlé Health Science Sells Prometheus Laboratories, Layoffs Anticipated

NEW YORK – Nestlé Health Science has closed the sale of Prometheus Laboratories — a US-based subsidiary — to Precision IBD, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of precision therapeutics and companion diagnostics for inflammatory bowel diseases.

The sale of San Diego, California-based Prometheus, a developer of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products with a focus on gastrointestinal diseases, became effective June 30. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A Nestlé Health Science spokesperson said in an email to 360Dx that the decision to divest San Diego, California-based Prometheus was taken after Nestlé Health reviewed its global business portfolio, a process that it conducts periodically "to assure continued alignment of Nestlé Health Science's top strategic priorities."

"With the closing of this divestment, the new owner is taking over the business, and employees of Prometheus are becoming employees of Precision IBD, with the exception of the point-of-care diagnostic business, which will continue to be operated as a Nestlé Health Science company under the new name Procise Dx," the spokesperson said.

Prometheus Laboratories had been acquired by Nestlé Health Science for an undisclosed amount in May 2011. Nestlé Health Science, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé, had been founded that January with a focus on developing science-based nutritional solutions for personalized medicine. At that time, the firm described the acquisition of Prometheus as a strategic move into gastrointestinal diagnostics.

Xconomy this week reported that San Diego-based Precision IBD plans to lay off about a quarter of Prometheus' workforce. It reported that by the end of this year, according to a July 1 filing with the California Employment Development Department, Precision IBD plans to lay off 72 of the roughly 280 people that Prometheus employed at the time of the sale.

Lausanne, Switzerland-based Nestlé Health Science did not respond to a request from 360Dx for confirmation about the number of planned layoffs.