Nestle acquiring Covington biomedical firm

Pamlab, a Covington biomedical company with 400 employees, will be purchased by Nestlé Health Science, a subsidiary of Nestlé.

The purchase price was not disclosed in a Tuesday news release. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.

Pamlab makes prescription nutritional products to combat chronic metabolic and neurologic conditions. Its products include Metanx, CerefolinNAC and Deplin.

In addition to the Covington headquarters, which includes sales and marketing staff and research and development personnel, the company has a manufacturing facility in Shreveport.

It also has a partnership with Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, spokesman Jim Currie said.

“We are excited to join forces with Nestlé Health Science, and we share their commitment to personalized nutrition,” Eric Wingerter, Pamlab’s president and chief executive officer, said. “We are united by a common purpose, and a common culture, founded on our passion for patients to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Wingerter said the company has had a low profile, but its innovations in prescription medical foods drew the attention of Nestlé Health Science.

“They did their research, and we came up on their radar,’’ he said.

The acquisition will not affect the employees of the St. Tammany Parish company, he said, except that it will bring additional resources to Pamlab’s efforts to continue making innovations in medical food products.

Pamlab specializes in medical foods that are used under the medical supervision of health care providers by patients with diabetic neuropathy, dementia, depression, high-risk pregnancy and other medical conditions.

Nestlé Health Science was formed in January 2011 to lead the development of personalized nutritional solutions. It employs about 3,000 people across the globe and is based in Lutry, Switzerland.

Luis Cantarell, Nestlé Health Science’s president and chief executive officer, said the acquisition will strengthen Nestlé’s brain health offerings and give it a foothold in metabolic health in the U.S.

As minority owners through the company’s employee stock ownership program, Pamlab’s employees voted on the decision to sell the company at a meeting Tuesday morning in New Orleans.

The company began as Pan American Laboratories in 1957 but was bought in 1987 by Sam and Judy Camp, whom Wingerter said he considers to be the founders of the company. Their son, Stephen Camp, will continue as Pamlab’s chief operating officer.