Vancouver, British Columbia – July 29, 2020 – Willow Biosciences Inc. (“Willow” or the “Company“) (TSX: WLLW; OTCQX: CANSF) is pleased to announce that it has commenced its 500 liter pilot production run to deliver samples of its first cannabinoid, cannabigerol (“CBG“), in Q3 of 2020.
“This is a significant milestone for Willow and is a result of 16 months of hard work and scientific break throughs from our science team,” said Trevor Peters, Willow’s Chief Executive Officer. “We will be the first company to biosynthetically produce material amounts of cannabinoids when our samples of CBG are ready in Q3 of this year. This pilot is ahead of schedule in part due to our industry-leading science team, but also due to strong demand from major global consumer packaged goods entities. In our discussions with companies manufacturing consumer products with cannabinoids as ingredients, it is clear that there is significant demand for ultra-pure, pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids.”
The Company announced last month that, in collaboration with its development partner, Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (“AMRI“), it would be commencing its 500 liter pilot run to produce samples of CBG in Q3 2020. The seed train for inoculating the pilot fermenter at AMRI’s facility was initiated Monday with our proprietary yeast strain to start the week long production process. The produced material has been earmarked for multiple companies interested in ultra-pure cannabinoids that are free from contaminants, including THC.
CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with early research suggesting it has a range of bioactive properties in the body that include anti-microbial and antioxidant functions. From early discussions with key stakeholders in the nutraceutical, personal care, food and beverage industries, we believe that CBG has the potential to be as impactful to the recreational, health and wellness landscape as cannabidiol (“CBD”) has become, and this will pave the way for other cannabinoids to enter the marketplace based upon the distinct differences in how they function in the body as well as their applicability to product formulation. “To a very large degree we will look upon this time as a watershed moment for our industry. We will finally be able to pivot to a variety of cannabinoid choices that best match our customers’ needs. Through our manufacturing methods we can achieve these solutions, and continue to assure our customers of category-altering purity, quality and safety,” said Dr. Chris Savile, Willow’s Chief Operating Officer.
While CBG cannot be produced in appreciable quantities in the plant, Willow’s proprietary yeast production process is expected to be able to produce commercial quantities. We anticipate being able to commercialize CBG in the first half of 2021 and the Company is in the process of selecting its manufacturing locations, from which it can reach both local and world markets.
About Willow Biosciences Inc.
Willow is a Canadian biotechnology company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, that produces high purity, plant-derived compounds that provide building blocks for the global pharmaceutical, health and wellness, and consumer packaged goods industries. Willow’s current focus is in the production of cannabinoids for the treatment for pain, anxiety, obesity, brain disorders, among other significant indications. Willow’s science team has a proven track record of developing manufacturing technologies for high purity compounds in pain and cancer treatments. Willow’s manufacturing process creates a consistent, scalable and sustainable product that allows for the discovery and development of new life changing drugs.
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
Suite 202, 1201 5th Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0Y6
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: market demand for Willow’s products, CBG and cannabinoids in general; the expected therapeutic benefits of CBG; Willow’s milestone projections, including the timing of the delivery of sample cannabinoids and commercialized production; 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 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; and the successful implementation of Willow’s production and commercialization 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.