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Nestlé Health Science announced that it has invested $65 million in Seres Health, a start-up based in Cambridge, Mass., that focuses on restoring the “microbiome” — the host of microorganisms that provide vital functions for humans. The company’s current focus includes treatments for infectious diseases as well as metabolic and inflammatory illnesses.

The investment in Seres Health is one of several steps Nestlé Health Science plans to take as its seeks to advance nutrition related to health care. The business would also announce that it has set up a partnership with Flagship Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Boston, to help incubate start-ups in the nutritional therapy field.

Both announcements highlight the growing ambitions of Nestlé Health Science, which was set up to help the Swiss conglomerate expand its offerings that effectively bridge the fields of nutrition and health care. It has struck deals like the acquisition of Prometheus Laboratories, which focuses on personalized patient treatments for certain kinds of diseases like irritable bowel syndrome.

“There are some specific diseases where we know nutrition plays a very important role,” Greg Behar, Nestlé Health Science’s chief executive, said.

But that mission can be much broader, according to Mr. Behar. That explains the interest in Seres Health, which has one treatment to prevent a type of microbiome infection in Phase 3, or later stage, clinical trials at the moment. Ultimately, he added, the idea is to find different ways to treat certain types of diseases through the manipulation of the body’s microbial organisms instead of through traditional drugs.
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