A YORK life sciences business says it is "fast approaching the next stage" in tackling today's chronic lifestyle diseases after entering a scale up and manufacturing agreement with India's largest food ingredients supplier.

OptiBiotix Health, which develops compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes from its base at York Science Park, has announced a new agreement with Tata Chemicals.

The deal gives Tata Chemicals the right to scale up and exclusively manufacture galacto-oligosaccharide produced by OptiBiotix's LP-LDL strain for the use in food and over the counter products, subject to successful development at pilot level.

Stephen O'Hara, chief executive of OptiBiotix, said: "We are pleased to report this agreement with which creates the opportunity to scale up and manufacture galacto-oligosaccharide produced by our LP-LDL strain.

"Tata chemicals is one of India's leading suppliers of food ingredients with many well known and respected brands. We believe 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 engineer components of the microbiome to prevent, manage and treat many of today's chronic lifestyle diseases.

"This agreement takes both companies further down the path of translating the science of the microbiome field into products which will improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world."

Tata Chemicals, is a global science company active in industrial chemicals, food and nutrition, and agriculture business, and part of the Tata Group of companies.

OptiBiotix believes the agreement creates opportunities to use its strains in a wide range of food products to help reduce cardiovascular risk factors and improve health. These ingredients are heat resistant and stable during processing, creating the opportunity to incorporate low cost, safe, ingredients which modulate specific elements of the microbiome in food products.