Dr. Lalonde has pioneered key advancements in enzyme engineering and biocatalysis that has revolutionized chemical production, protein engineering for food and nutrition, as well as drug discovery and development leading to new routes to pharmaceutical actives behind blockbuster drugs
Calgary, Alberta and Mountain View, California – February 22, 2023 – Willow Biosciences Inc.(“Willow“) (TSX: WLLW; OTCQB: CANSF), a leading biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing industrial manufacturing of pure, consistent and sustainable functional ingredients announced today the appointment of Jim Lalonde, Ph.D. as its newest independent member of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective February 21, 2023.
“We are very pleased to welcome Jim to our Board,” said Dr. Peter Seufer-Wasserthal, Willow’s President and CEO. “Jim has developed stellar R&D teams behind some of the most key advancements in enzyme engineering and biocatalysis and, in the process, revolutionized a host of industries and processes while driving increased valuations for the businesses he has been associated with over his successful career. “His guidance will be valuable to Willow as we continue to diversify our portfolio with new partners and customers, expand our R&D capabilities, and grow revenue further to support improved company valuation.”
Dr. Lalonde previously served with Inscripta, a global leader in genome engineering technology, as Lead of its Microbial Digital Genome Engineering Business. Prior to that, Dr. Lalonde was Senior Vice President of R&D at Codexis, Inc., a leader in protein engineering. In his nearly 15 years at Codexis he oversaw development of more than 50 enzymes for drug manufacturing, nutrition, biotherapeutics, and molecular diagnostics. He also led development of the company’s pioneering CodeEvolver® protein engineering technology which was licensed to major pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Codexis, Dr. Lalonde held leadership roles in biocatalysis and chemical development at Altus Biologics and in scientific research at Vista Chemical Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lakehead University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Texas A&M University.
“I am excited to join the Willow Board at such a pivotal time when I believe the Company is on the cusp of significant growth with the ability to leverage a best-in-class precision fermentation technology platform to revolutionize the health and wellness, food and beverage and personal care markets,” said Dr. Lalonde. “Willow’s R&D team and platform capabilities are impressive, represent high value to partners seeking innovation in their portfolios, and I look forward to participating in the Company’s success in wielding it to bring sustainable products to market.”
Lalonde also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Bota Biosciences, a global industrial biotechnology company advancing sustainable biomanufacturing; Curie Co., which is utilizing state of the art protein engineering to replace petrochemical-based preservatives with biobased alternatives within personal care; and Invizyne, a pioneer in streamlining synthetic biology with cell free enzyme cascades, to produce a wide variety of high value and difficult to make target molecules.
About Willow Biosciences Inc.
Willow develops and produces precision fermented functional ingredients for the health and wellness, food and beverage and personal care markets. Willow’s FutureGrownTM biotechnology platform allows large-scale production with sustainability at its core. Willow’s R&D team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing bio-based manufacturing processes and products to benefit our B2B partners and their customers. For more information, visit www.willowbio.com.
FutureGrown™ is a registered trademark of Willow Biosciences Inc. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective holders.
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This news release may include forward-looking statements including opinions, assumptions, estimates and the Company’s assessment of future plans and operations, and, more particularly, statements concerning: the ability to accommodate new programs and to expand R&D capabilities with new partners and customers; the demand and market size potential of the synthetic ingredients industry; revenue and growth and an improved valuation; and the business plan of the Company, generally, including becoming a leader in precision fermentation, research and production of functional ingredients. When used in this news release, the words “will,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intent,” “may,” “project,” “should,” and similar expressions are intended to be among the statements that identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are founded on the basis of expectations and assumptions made by the Company which include, but are not limited to: the success of Willow’s strategic partnerships and customer relationships, including the development of future strategic partnerships and customer relationships; the financial strength of the Company; the ability of the Company to fund its business plan using cash on hand and existing resources; the market for Willow’s products; the ability of the Company to obtain and retain applicable licences; the ability of the Company to obtain suitable manufacturing partners and other strategic relationships; and the successful implementation of Willow’s commercialization and production strategy, generally. Forward-looking statements are subject to a wide range of risks and uncertainties, and although the Company believes that the expectations represented by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will be realized. Any number of important factors could cause actual results biotechnology industry in general; the success of the Company’s research and development strategies; infringement on intellectual property; failure to benefit from partnerships or successfully integrate acquisitions; actions and initiatives of federal and provincial governments and changes to government policies and the execution and impact of these actions, initiatives and policies; import/export and research restrictions for cannabinoid-based operations; the size of the medical-use and adult-use cannabinoid market; competition from other industry participants; adverse U.S., Canadian and global economic conditions; adverse global events and public-health crises, including the evolving COVID-19 outbreak; failure to comply with certain regulations; departure of key management personnel or inability to attract and retain talent; and other factors more fully described from time to time in the reports and filings made by the Company with securities regulatory authorities. Please refer to the Company’s most recent annual information form and management’s discussion and analysis for additional risk factors relating to Willow, which can be accessed either on Willow’s website at www.willowbio.com or under the Company’s profile on www.sedar.com.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law. The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.