Listed life sciences firm forms new 100% owned subsidiary

Life sciences business OptiBiotix Health has announced the formation of a 100% owned subsidiary, ProBiotix Health Limited, and the appointment of Adam Reynolds as Non-Executive Chairman to ProBiotix’s Board.

The York-based firm develops compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and skin care.

In July 2016, OptiBiotix announced a strategy to develop its technology platforms into separate divisions; each containing its own technology platform, intellectual property portfolio and partner agreements.

These divisions could become separate legal entities with the potential for a separate public listing.

The first step in this strategy was commenced in March 2016 when OptiBiotix formed SkinBiotix Limited, which was admitted as Skinbiotherapeutics plc to AIM in April 2017.

The listing of Skinbiotherapeutics plc materialised the value of a part of the business in which a 52% stake was acquired by OptiBiotix for £250K in March 2016 and now has a market valuation of around £24m, with OptiBiotix owning a 41.9% shareholding (£11.7m).

OptiBiotix’s Probiotic division containing its cholesterol and blood pressure reducing strain LP has made progress with 14 commercial deals in just under 18 months and a large deal pipeline.

This division uses its high throughput OptiScreen technology for the identification of probiotics with specific health benefits as supplements or therapeutic products. OptiBiotix directors believe that this division has now reached a stage of growing revenue streams where it may be advantageous to form a 100% owned subsidiary, called ProBiotix Health Ltd, with the potential for a separate public listing.

The appointment of Adam Reynolds as Non-Executive Chairman to ProBiotix’s Board brings a track record of increasing shareholder value and leadership in building a team with a view to seeking an Initial Public Offering.

Stephen O’Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix, said: “The formation of ProBiotix Health Limited and appointment of Adam Reynolds as Chairman continues a successful strategy of building value in each division which is materialised by forming separate legal entities and taking them to a public listing.

“As the listed company grows in value using its own funds, OptiBiotix shareholders benefit from the appreciation of the asset as exemplified by SkinBiotherapeutics plc. We are delighted to welcome Adam Reynolds as Chairman of ProBiotix as he brings extensive experience of equity markets and a proven record of taking companies to IPO.

“This is an innovative business model which over time looks to give OptiBiotix shareholders a position in multiple companies, and with it the prospect of multiple returns.”