Vancouver, British Columbia – April 20, 2021 – Willow Biosciences Inc. (“Willow” or the “Company“) (TSX: WLLW; OTCQX: CANSF) is pleased to announce that it has completed a series of studies with its development partner, Signum Biosciences, Inc., that demonstrate the safety and anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and antimicrobial properties of Willow’s cannabigerol (“Willow CBG“). The studies demonstrate that Willow CBG is safe when applied to skin and eye areas and can act as a more potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory for certain skin applications when compared to plant derived cannabidiol (“CBD“), as further described below.
“Demonstrating the safety and benefit of a new ingredient like Willow’s CBG is a critical step in commercialization and it’s one that we take seriously at the Company,” said Dr. Chris Savile, Willow’s Chief Operating Officer. “Willow’s CBG is now clinically tested to be safe for sensitive skin and demonstrated in the laboratory to act as a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Most interestingly, Willow CBG was shown to be as potent or more potent than CBD, in some cases up to twice as potent, in the performed assays. We believe the clinical work on human skin and in vitro models with CBG are the first of their kind to be reported and we are very excited to share the results with our stakeholders and industry.”
Willow CBG demonstrates a robust safety profile, showing no signs of skin irritation, eye irritation or phototoxicity, paving the way for its use in skin care. Based on the safety profile using these in vitro skin models, a Human Repeat Insult Patch Test clinical trial was performed on more than 100 volunteers where Willow CBG was demonstrated to be safe for sensitive skin. Willow’s activity tests utilizing Normal Human Epidermal Keratinocytes (NHEKs) and Human Dermal Fibroblasts (HDFs), demonstrate that Willow CBG possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting ultraviolet (UV) light and C. acnes-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release. This data demonstrates the broad anti-inflammatory effect of Willow CBG against these different environmental stressors. Additional studies also indicate Willow CBG can act as an antioxidant as well as a strong antimicrobial against C. acnes and S. aureus, two bacterial strains shown to play a key role in the pathogenesis of acne and atopic dermatitis, respectively. These results demonstrate the utility of Willow CBG as an antimicrobial agent with similar potency as the broad-spectrum antibiotic doxycycline. Additional studies including gene array analysis on a 3D human skin models implicate collagen biosynthesis and skin brightening pathways as key Willow CBG targets.
Willow has been invited to present and discuss the full results of its findings at the upcoming Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) meeting on May 3rd to 8th, 2021, and is pleased to share this data with prospective customers, partners, and shareholders. Willow plans to make the full data available on its website, www.willowbio.com, the morning of May 3rd, 2021.
About Willow Biosciences Inc.
Willow is a Canadian biotechnology company based in Vancouver, British Columbia that develops and produces high-purity, plant derived ingredients for consumer care, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical products. Willow’s manufacturing process creates a consistent, scalable, and sustainable product that benefits industry and consumers. Willow’s team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing bio-based manufacturing processes and products for both the consumer and pharmaceutical industries.
For further information, please visit our website at www.willowbio.com or contact:
President and Chief Executive Officer
T: (403) 669-4848
Troy Talkkari, CFA
Vice President, Corporate Development
T: (403) 618-1117
150, 2250 Boundary Road
Burnaby, BC V5M 3Z3
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: Willow’s milestone projections, including the timing of first sales and revenue generation; the safety and efficacy of Willow CBG, including the results of Signum Bioscience Inc.’s clinical testing on Willow’s CBG; the development and use of Willow CBG as a commercial skin care product; and the business plan of the Company, generally, including cannabinoid research and production. 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 continued presence of the benefits and safety features of Willow CBG demonstrated in the studies; the success of Willow’s strategic partnerships, including the development of future strategic partnerships; 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 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 to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, risks associated with: the cannabinoid 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 current 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 AIF and the MD&A 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.