OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI), the life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes, has signed a second collaboration agreement with an arm of the Spanish National Research Council.
The programme being undertaken by the Instituto de Química Orgánica General will assess the potential for incorporating natural sweeteners into existing or new sugar chains called oligosaccharides.
The ultimate aim is to create sweet products with functional health benefits.
The AIM-listed group’s initial research tie up the IQOG started in September 2015 and was designed to create sweet, low calorie sugars using different bacterial strains.
OptiBiotix's specialism is using the human microbiome, found in the gut and on the skin, to create treatments for time-bomb problems related to obesity.
“The sugar development programmes have the potential to address a key requirement in the food industry, addressing international concerns over the impact of sugar on obesity, highlighted by the recent announcement of a UK sugar tax,” said Stephen O’Hara, chief executive of the AIM-listed business.
“If successful, this research creates the prospect of replacing 'unhealthy' sugars in existing products with non digestible, low calorie, healthy, SweetBiotix.
“As the food industry responds to growing public and political concerns over traditional sugars and artificial sweeteners, we expect growing interest in safer, healthy alternatives such as our SweetBiotix."