Food giant Nestle has linked up with USA-based stem cell specialist Cellular Dynamics International.

CDI has signed a long-term supply agreement with the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences giving the Swiss major access to its iCell product line includes cardiomyocytes, neurons, hepatocytes and endothelial cells. The deal, the financial details of which have not been disclosed, also covers MyCell products manufactured from donor samples using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) technology.

NIHS will employ these products "to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that govern the progression to chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes". The institute added that using human iPSCs will "avoid the controversial and ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem cells whilst serving as excellent models of human cellular and tissue physiology from healthy and disease states".