Optibiotix to have £6m value after AIM float

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OPTIBIOTIX Health, a firm that makes products to tackle obesity, heart disease and diabetes, is to float on AIM following a reverse takeover that will give the enlarged group a market capitalisation of £6m.

York-based OptiBiotix is to be bought by investor group Ducat Ventures for £2m in shares. Ducat is raising £3.3m to fund the deal which will help to commercialise and develop OptiBiotix’s new products.

The company will change its name to OptiBiotix Health plc. The company will keep its head office in Heslington, York.

Adam Reynolds, ​e​xecutive ​chairman of Ducat, said: “With at least 2.8 million adults dying as a result of being overweight or obese, it is clear that weight related health problems are one of the world’s biggest public issues affecting both the developed and the developing world.

​“​We see a massive opportunity to address this market with our pipeline of products being developed to suppress appetites and reduce lipid and cholesterol levels.”

OptiBiotix is creating a range of products designed to prevent or manage many of the chronic and debilitating illnesses associated with lifestyle and ageing.

The company said there is big demand for products targeted at managing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity and delaying the normal ageing process, but the current products on the market lack the proper underlying scientific and clinical evidence.

Products under development include a scientifically formulated and clinically validated Weight Management Product to support weight loss in overweight and obese patients as part of a diet and exercise weight-loss programme.

It is also working on new microbial strains for the prevention and management of heart disease, diabetes, and weight management and a novel food ingredient which selectively enhances naturally occurring “good bacteria”, for example Lactobacilli, within the Human Microbiome to boost health benefits.

“The development of novel non-digestible sugars is expected to have a huge impact on the healthy eating market place where major commercial partners are looking to find healthier sugar substitutes,” said Mr Reynolds.

If the acquisition is completed, it is big enough to constitute a reverse takeover under the AIM rules and is therefore subject to the approval of shareholders at the General Meeting to be held on August 4.

OptiBiotix was formed in 2012 to develop compounds which modify the human microbiome, the collective genome of the microbes in the body, to prevent and manage human disease.

Its aim is to discover and develop microbial strains, compounds and formulations which modulate the human microbiome and can be used as food ingredients, supplements or active compounds for the prevention and management of human metabolic diseases.

It has established a pipeline of microbiome modulators that can impact on lipid and cholesterol management, energy harvest and appetite suppression.

The development pipeline is fuelled by its proprietary OptiScreen and OptiBiotic platform technologies designed to identify metabolic pathways and compounds that impact on human physiology and bring health benefits.

These platforms can be used across a wider range of other human diseases.

The £2m price tag will be satisfied by the issue of 25,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 8p per share. Peterhouse Corporate Finance, the company’s broker, has conditionally raised £3.3m before expenses for the company through the placing of 41,250,000 new ordinary shares at 8p, which is conditional on the resolutions being approved.