Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire biopharmaceutical company Aimmune Therapeutics for $2.6bn, or $34.50 per share, in cash.

The acquisition will be made via NHSc unit Sociétés des Produits Nestlé.

Aimmune develops treatments for food allergies. The company’s Palforzia is the first treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to mitigate the frequency and severity of peanut allergy, including anaphylaxis.

An oral immunotherapy, Palforzia is indicated for children aged four to 17 years. The drug is meant for use with a peanut-avoidant diet.

Aimmune Therapeutics president and CEO Jayson Dallas said: “Delivering Palforzia, the world’s first treatment for food allergy, has been a game-changing proposition in the bio-pharmaceutical industry and is transformative for the lives of millions of people living with potentially life-threatening peanut allergy.

“This acquisition ensures a level of support for Palforzia and our pipeline that will further enhance their potential for patients around the world living with food allergies.”

The deal will complement NHSc’s food allergy portfolio, offering a range of solutions for children suffering from food allergies.

Currently, NHSc has a total investment of $473m in Aimmune, representing an equity ownership stake of approximately 25.6%.

In Aimmune, NHSc made an investment of $145m in November 2016, $30m in February 2018, $98m in November 2018 and $200m in January 2020.

Nestlé Health Science CEO Greg Behar said: “This transaction brings together Nestlé’s nutritional science leadership with one of the most innovative companies in food allergy treatment.

“Together we will be able to offer a wide range of solutions that can transform the lives of people suffering from food allergies around the world.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

Until the completion, Aimmune will continue to operate as a separate company.

Following the closing of the transaction, Aimmune will merge with a wholly owned subsidiary of Société des Produits Nestlé, with Aimmune as the surviving entity.