The agreement will grant Tata the right to exclusively manufacture LPGOS for use in food and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
This new agreement follows a number of other high-profile international agreements OptiBiotix has made in 2017, including deals with Italian food manufacturer and distributer, SACCO.
Previous research presented by OptiBiotix, including at NutraIngredients' Probiota event, has shown that LPGOS is able to modify an individual’s microbiome in order to reduce cholesterol.
A study conducted with gut models showed that LPGOS increases the growth and biological activity of cholesterol-reducing bacteria, LP-LDL, leading to a threefold increase in cholesterol-reduction, says the firm.
A separate study showed that LPGOS is able to modify an individual’s microbiome and reduce cholesterol by up to 22%.
Reverse enzyme technology
The LPGOS prebiotic was synthesised from β‐galactosidases expressed by LP-LDL bacteria, using OptiBiotix’s reverse enzyme technology. LPGOS has been found to be heat-resistant and stable during processing, suggesting it could be used as an ingredient in a wide range of food products to help reduce cardiovascular risk factors and improve health.
Stephen O’Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix, said: “This agreement with Tata Chemicals creates the opportunity to scale up and manufacture LPGOS, the galacto-oligosaccharide produced by our LP-LDL strain.
"The combination of OptiBiotix’s ability to develop ingredients which can modify an individual’s microbiome, and Tata’s research and manufacturing expertise, international reputation, and global reach, places both companies at the forefront of global microbiome research and product development.
"I believe we are fast approaching the next stage in the development of the microbiome in healthcare, where scientists have the ability (to) engineer components of the microbiome to prevent, manage and treat many of today’s chronic lifestyle diseases.
"This agreement takes us further down the path of translating the science of the microbiome field into products which will improve the health and well-being of people around the world.”
Tata Chemicals is a global science company active in industrial chemicals, food and nutrition, and agriculture, and is listed on the Indian Stock Exchange. It is part of the Tata Group of Companies, which employs over 660,000 employees and reported annual revenues of $103.5bn in 2015 / 2016.
The Probiota series is growing, and in October 2017, Singapore will host the first ever Probiota Asia event. Building on the success of the annual global Probiota and Probiota Americas events, Probiota Asia will focus exclusively on this high-growth market and the challenges it faces. Register here.