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Business

DSM to acquire human milk oligosaccharide firm Glycom

by Craig Bettenhausen
March 7, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 9

 

DSM will pay $830 million to acquire Glycom, a Danish company that calls itself the world’s leading supplier of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). HMOs feed beneficial gut microbes, which many scientists and parents believe aid digestive health, neurodevelopment, and disease resistance in infants and young children. While HMOs are found in natural human milk, Glycom and others produce them via fermentation for use in infant formula and, increasingly, adult nutritional products. Other major chemical companies also see opportunity in HMOs. BASF makes and sells the HMO 2′-fucosyllactose on a large scale and last year licensed patents from Glycosyn on adult and adolescent digestive health applications. DuPont markets 2′-fucosyllactose in the US and Europe and is partnering with the biotech firm Inbiose to commercialize other HMOs. According to DSM, the global HMO market is about $110 million per year and growing rapidly. Glycom reported $80 million in sales in 2019, mostly to Nestlé, an infant formula maker that is a large investor in Glycom.

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