A British pharmaceuticals firm behind an innovative new chewing gum to help kidney disease sufferers has been snapped up by Swiss food giant Nestlé.

Nestlé has bought London-based CM&D Pharma for an undisclosed sum, to add to its fledgling division specialising in science-based nutritional treatments, called Nestlé Health Science.

CM&D Pharma makes products including Fostrap gum for patients with chronic kidney disease, which is currently in late-stage trials.

The firm was founded in 2007 by president Danilo Casadei Massari, with chief executive Stephen Appelbee joining soon after to help expand the company.

It focuses on developing products for the dietary management of widespread conditions. Fostrap -- its lead product -- works by helping remove high levels of phosphate from kidney disease patients, collected in the saliva as they chew the gum. CM&D also makes products for those with intestinal pain.

From the February 7, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition