OptiBiotix Health plc (AIM: OPTI), a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes, announces its audited results for the period ended 31 December 2019. During the period, the Company has met a significant number of important objectives that continue to build value for shareholders.
· The award of a CE mark and registration of SlimBiome® as a medical device
· The recognition of OptiBiotix’s cholesterol and blood pressure reducing Lactobacillus plantarum LPLDL® probiotic strain determined as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). GRAS is a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation and extends the potential applications of LPLDL® to use as a functional ingredient in food, dairy, and beverage products across the USA
· Pharmaceutical GMP manufacturer approval of LPLDL®. Pharmaceutical GMP proves that a drug substance (LPLDL®) is produced consistently with pharmaceutical grade quality. GMP process validation is required by customers and health authorities around the globe to commercialise active ingredients as drugs. The validation of LPLDL® pharmaceutical GMP manufacture is a significant step in the development of LPLDL® as a pharmaceutical drug product
· The award of a licence from the Food Standards and Safety Authority India (FSSAI) to OptiBiotix’s manufacturing partner, Zeon Life Sciences, to manufacture SlimBiome® and SlimBiome® containing products in India
· The appointment of EIWA Trading Company to import, market and distribute OptiBiotix’s cholesterol and blood pressure-reducing probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum LPLDL® in Japan
· The launch of LPLDL® in pharmacies of El Corte Inglés, Spain’s biggest department store in all of Spain’s major cities, with IENP under the “39ytú” brand
· A license agreement with Kappa Bioscience AS (“Kappa”) for the use of Lactobacillus plantarum LPLDL® in a new application area within cardiovascular health in 27 countries
· Raising £1.025 million through the issue of convertible loan notes for OptiBiotix to provide funding for a potential initial public offering of wholly owned subsidiary ProBiotix Health, of which OptiBiotix subscribed for £250,000
· The appointment of Extensor and subsequent territory extension to import, market and distribute GoFigure® products in Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova and Russia. This is the start of a strategy to take OptiBiotix’s own label GoFigure® products to international markets to build brand recognition, and create demand for SlimBiome®, the functional ingredient within Gofigure® products
· An agreement with Nutrilinea Srl to develop a food supplement containing LPLDL® for the reduction of high blood pressure (hypertension). Nutrilinea will cover the cost of all product development, manufacturing and human studies in return for 12 months exclusivity for the European market. ProBiotix has exclusivity for the UK and all other markets outside Europe
· An agreement with Agropur to manufacture, supply and distribute OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome® weight management technology in the USA, Canada and Mexico
· An agreement with Maxum Foods Pty Ltd to manufacture, supply and distribute OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome® weight management technology in Australia and New Zealand
· The launch of two products formulated with SlimBiome® in India: Metalite – a supplement to aid with effective weight management and Metalite Pro – a high protein meal replacement (www.metalitepro.com)
· Winning the award for Weight Management Ingredient of the Year: Asia, for SlimBiome®, at the Vitafoods Asia trade exhibition tradeshow in Singapore. The award is given to the product identified by a panel of scientific, regulatory and industry experts demonstrating leading edge research and innovation in the weight management market
Post-period end highlights
· The launch of a product range containing OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome® proprietary weight management technology under the SlimBiome® brand with Holland & Barrett
· The launch of a food supplement containing LPLDL® by ALFASIGMA, the first of its kind nutraceutical probiotic in Italy for cholesterol reduction
· An agreement with Granja Pocha S.A. (“Granja Pocha”) for the inclusion of LPLDL® into a functional yogurt product in Uruguay, South America
· Successful completion of a three month study of 40 patients for a new food supplement containing LPLDL® (CholBiome BP) carried out by the University of Pavia, Italy and showed statistically significant reductions in both systolic, diastolic blood pressure levels, and cholesterol levels
· An agreement with OptiPharm, whose flagship brand, Optislim, is Australia’s leading weight management brand, for the use OptiBiome® weight management ingredient in over 20 countries including Australia, parts of Asia, New Zealand, Middle East, Gulf States and North America
· The listing of SlimBiome® containing products in Walmart and Costco in the USA and Canada
· The signing of a deal with Pierce Asia taking OptiBiotix products to China
Stephen O’Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix, commented: “OptiBiotix has made significant progress in the last 12 months growing sales across all divisions, signing 24 new agreements and extending our reach into 46 countries. OptiBiotix’s products are now being commercialised as food ingredients, medical devices, drug biotherapeutics and supplements in more and more countries across the world helping to build brand presence.
“The progress made in 2019 has continued into the first three months of 2020 with sales of LPLDL® and SlimBiome® as ingredient or final product increasing by 928% when compared to the same period last year and extending geographic reach and brand presence into 119 countries.
“Despite challenges facing the global economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we remain focused on the next phase of our strategy, driving our divisions to profitability in the current year. This is not just about continuing to grow sales, but also about managing costs, renegotiating contracts as volumes increase, reducing the cost of goods to OptiBiotix, and focusing on higher margin products.
“As part of our focus on managing costs we intend to transition our agreement with our financial adviser Goetz from a fixed monthly payment to an ad hoc project by project basis at the end of May 2020. This is an important part of building a profitable and sustainable business for our shareholders in a market forecast to become one of the world’s fastest growth areas.
“Outside the OptiBiotix Board, Stephen Prescott, CEO of ProBiotix Health Ltd will leave the Company by mutual consent at the end of May 2020. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Steve for all his work and wish him all the best in the future.”