Dublin-headquartered medical technology firm Medtronic has entered an agreement to acquire Israeli startup Nutrino, a provider of nutrition-related data services and analytics technology, for an undisclosed amount, the companies announced in a statement on Wednesday.
Founded in 2014, Nutrino uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to better understand individual responses to particular foods through feedback from various data points. Its nutrition insights platform, which collects, processes, and analyzes food-related data is a tool used by food and beverage groups, digital health industries, fitness companies, and others. The data and insights collected help Nutrino define an individual’s FoodPrint, or digital signature, of how food affects a person’s body.
Nutrino and Medtronic said that “given that food and nutrition are central components in effective diabetes management, the companies recognized an opportunity to improve clinical outcomes for people with diabetes by integrating Nutrino’s extensive food analysis infrastructure, nutrition science expertise and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven personalized insights with Medtronic’s technology and future innovations.”
Nutrino has previously said that with an estimated 415 million people living with diabetes worldwide, expected to reach 642 million by 2040, the company “can offer smart, data-based, individualized insights for personal nutrition” to “empower[s] better food decisions and shape[s] better outcomes for individuals and businesses.”
Medtronic will add Nutrino’s comprehensive food database, food analysis system and nutrition-science expertise to its capabilities, led by the Diabetes Group at Medtronic.
“By leveraging Nutrino’s technology and infrastructure with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and industry-leading closed loop systems, Medtronic can help reduce the substantial physical and mental burden of food and nutrition management for people with diabetes,” Medtronic said in its statement.
Nutrino and Medtronic previously partnered in June to integrate Nutrino’s FoodPrint Report technology into Medtronic’s iPro2 myLog app, a platform that connects with a continuous glucose monitor to help give users insights into their glucose levels.
“Bringing Nutrino and their nutrition-related expertise into our organization will give us a substantial differentiator in the diabetes industry and accelerate our progress to help people with diabetes live with greater freedom and better health,” said Hooman Hakami, executive vice president and president of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic. “The Nutrino team has been an outstanding partner over the past few years. We are excited to welcome them to our team, and I have no doubt that, together, we will make a profound impact on the lives of people with diabetes.”
“The Nutrino team is passionate about personalized nutrition data services and technologies. Our work in the diabetes space is helping to address the needs of a growing population that needs better tools and guidance,” said Yael Glassman, CEO of Nutrino Health. “We are excited to now focus completely on the intersection of nutrition and diabetes to help more people be able to better manage their condition.”
Nutrino was founded by Jonathan Lipnik, now the company’s president and chairman of the board, and Yaron Hadad, its chief scientist, and it maintains offices in Tel Aviv and San Francisco
The acquisition is expected to close in January 2019 subject to customary closing conditions.
This is the third time this year Medtronic has announced the intended acquisition of an Israeli startup, the first two being robotics and imaging companies.
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In September, Medtronic entered an agreement with Israeli medical device company Mazor Robotics, a pioneer in surgical robotics and spinal surgery, to acquire shares it doesn’t already own in the company in a deal valued at $1.64 billion. The transaction is also expected to close in January 2019.
The agreement, an effort by Medtronic to become a leader in spinal surgery using guided robotics, was the largest amount ever paid for an Israeli company in the medical sector.
Four months prior, the company said it was acquiring Israeli company VisionSense, which develops imaging and visualization tech for minimally invasive surgery, for $75 million.
Medtronic in Israel
Medtronic has a long history in Israel. It was one of the first multinationals to establish a development center through the Israel Innovation Authority and now employs some 800 people locally in centers in Jerusalem, Yokneam, Herzliya, and Petah Tikva, out of 85,000 employees worldwide.
Medtronic was also one of three multinationals in July to have been approved for a grant by the Israel Innovation Authority to expand its R&D centers for biotechnology and medicine in Israel. The company is expected to receive a NIS 50 million (about $13.8 million) grant over six years to employ developers, engineers, and manufacturers in a development center for laparoscopic surgery visualization systems.
Medtronic’s acquisition of Mazor Robotics was the fourth billion-dollar deal for an Israeli company in 2018.
In August, global beverage giant PepsiCo announced that it was buying SodaStream, the Israeli developer of at-home carbonated beverage units for sparkling water, for $3.2 billion.
This followed the May acquisition of Frutarom, the Israeli maker of flavors and natural specialty fine ingredients, for $7 billion by American multinational International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), and the purchase two months prior of Israeli electronic and industrial products manufacturer Orbotch by California semiconductor equipment maker KLA-Tencor Corp for $3.4 billion.