The agreement will see OptiBiotix use the country’s pharmacies and pharmacy e-shops that cover 70% of the population to increase exposure of the firm’s probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum (LPLDL).
“We’re pleased to bring our innovative cholesterol-reducing products to established outlets, adding value to its growing global footprint in increasing markets,” says Luis Gosalbez, OptiBiotix’s business development director.
“The collaboration is a great example of our approach to introduce products to new markets and key reputable outlets in a growing geographical manner.
“It is also well aligned to help reduce cardiovascular risk factors in a country with a high prevalence of these conditions and we look forward to raising the product awareness of CholBiome in this region.”
Cholbiome is one of OptiBiotix’s products that address cardiovascular health. A food supplement, the product combines Monacolin K from red yeast rice, vitamin B3 (niacin) and LPLDL to help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol.
A number of studies have suggested the Lactobacillus species could influence cholesterol levels via the breakdown of bile salt molecules.
This mechanism of action results in reduced cholesterol absorption in the gut and subsequently less LDL.
Other theories include the actual break down of the cholesterol by the probiotic, which then goes on to use it for nourishment and/or fuel.
Optibiotix, based in the UK, are banking on the product’s potency as a remedy to address Bulgaria’s spiralling mortality rates caused by cardiovascular disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) believes the figures are amongst the highest in Europe accounting for up to 64% of all deaths.
In Bulgaria, food supplements are primarily sold in pharmacy outlets such as pharmnet, via wholesalers of medicinal products in the country.
Optibiotix say by utilising national retail sales channels such as pharmnet, Velinoff Pharma, a private pharmaceutical and medical company, can achieve nationwide reach.
The hope is patients will be able to walk into any pharmacy, order CholBiome at any time and receive the stock the same day with professional product handling and pharmacists that can offer advice.
Italy and Australia deals
Cholbiome is already available in Italy as the firm wraps up a license agreement with Nutrilinea for the LPLDL strain.
Under the agreement terms, OptiBiotix grants the Italian supplement firm twelve months exclusivity of the European market, in which Nutrilinea will cover all product development, manufacturing and human studies costs.
In related news, Optibiotix announced on Monday that it had also struck a deal with Australian-based dairy supplier Maxum Foods Pty.
The deal involves Optibiotix’s SlimBiome weight loss range, in which Maxum Foods gains exclusive licence to manufacture, supply and distribute the products in Australia and New Zealand.
SlimBiome, a prebiotic fibre is a specialised functional ingredient found in a number of applications including food and beverages, dairy, dietary supplements and sports nutrition.
In June this year, Optibiotix reached an agreement with Agropur granting the Canadian firm another licence to use the SlimBiome and its weight management capabilities.
In a similar deal earlier this year, OptiBiotix entered a SlimBiome manufacturing and supply deal with Zeon Lifesciences,
The deal sees Zeon awarded an exclusive license to manufacture and supply SlimBiome in India in return for 50% of the profit.
Further terms of the agreement sees Zeon cover SlimBiome’s registration costs and any finished product containing Slimbiome with the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI).