Calgary, Alberta and Mountain View, California – November 3, 2022 – Willow Biosciences Inc. (“Willow” or the “Company”) (TSX: WLLW; OTCQB: CANSF), a leading biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing industrial manufacturing of pure, consistent and sustainable functional ingredients, has released its financial and operating results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022, reporting significant progress to its operational platform, leadership and strong liquidity. Additionally, Willow has announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Peter Seufer-Wasserthal as its President and CEO, effective November 3, 2022.
Dr. Seufer-Wasserthal has served as interim President and CEO since July 2022 and brings extensive experience in biotech, pharma, nutrition, and consumer care to the Company and has already advanced several partnership discussions in the food and nutrition sectors. He will continue to build and lead the organization needed to successfully execute on the Company’s mission. Dr. Seufer-Wasserthal will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of the Company.
“The third quarter saw us take another step forward in becoming a leader in precision fermentation”, said Dr. Peter Seufer-Wasserthal. “Our FutureGrown™ platform technology has allowed to secure partnerships and identify attractive functional ingredient opportunities leveraging off our initial work done on cannabinoids, and we are excited to continue to de-risk our portfolio to create value for our stakeholders.”
Willow’s unaudited consolidated interim financial statements and related management’s discussion and analysis for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Highlights for the Quarter
- On July 18, 2022, Willow appointed Dr. Peter Seufer-Wasserthal as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 17, 2022, in connection with Trevor Peters’ retirement as President and CEO. Mr. Peters continues to serve as a Director of the Company.
- On August 31, 2022, Willow provided an update on Generally Recognized as Safe (“GRAS“) status for its FutureGrown™ cannabigerol (“CBG“) product. The Company successfully completed the Stage 1 toxicological assessment for oral product applications. Willow anticipates initiating its Stage 2 pivotal toxicological assessment in Q3 2022 and attaining an independent conclusion of GRAS in the first half of 2023.
- Subsequent to the quarter, on October 12, 2022, the Company announced that it had completed proof of concept work on a new functional ingredient Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a red pigment, belonging to a group of chemicals known as carotenoids. In addition to its pigmentation properties, it is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. Development is currently underway to establish a commercial production process for pure, consistent & sustainable FutureGrown™ Astaxanthin.
- Willow ended the quarter in a strong financial position, with approximately $18.7 million in working capital (see “Specified Financial Measures” below) and $18.4 million of cash on hand.
Willow is positioned to become a leader in precision fermentation by capturing key intellectual property around what the Company anticipates being the most cost-effective methods to produce highly pure ingredients. The Company’s operational capabilities, along with its strategic partners, span the entire product development pathway, and Willow’s integrated R&D team in California has the full capabilities to deliver at all stages of the development cycle. The Company’s established technology, capabilities, and manufacturing network can now enable biobased production for a diverse set of industries.
While the market for biosynthetically produced cannabinoids has not materialized to the extent originally anticipated, Willow remains optimistic about the long-term market potential for these ingredients and continues to optimize its production process.
While the market for biosynthetically produced cannabinoids continues to develop, Willow will utilize it’s proven FutureGrown™ platform to partner with companies in the personal care, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical markets, providing access to pure, consistent and sustainable functional ingredients. So far this year the Company has announced its first partnered, non-cannabinoid program, and its first new non-cannabinoid functional ingredient, Astaxanthin. Willow is excited to continue to be adding partnerships and products, expanding its platform and de-risking its portfolio.
About Willow Biosciences Inc
Willow develops and produces high-purity ingredients for the personal care, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical markets. Willow’s FutureGrown™ 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 further information, please visit our website at www.willowbio.com or contact:
Travis Doupe, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Troy Talkkari, CFA
Vice President, Corporate Development
202, 1201 5th Street SW
Canada T2R 0Y6
Specified Financial Measures
This press release contains certain specified financial measures, as described below, which do not have standardized meanings as prescribed by GAAP. As these non-GAAP financial measures are commonly used, the inclusion is useful to investors, however these amounts may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measures by other companises.
“Working capital (non-GAAP financial measure)” is calculated as total current assets minus total current liabilities. Management utilizes working capital to monitor its liquidity, capital management and its ability to fund current operations.
Please refer to the MD&A for additional information relating to specified financial measures. The MD&A can be accessed either on Willow’s profile on www.sedar.com.
This news release may include forward-looking statements including future-oriented financial information and financial outlooks within the meaning of securities laws, opinions, assumptions, estimates and the Company’s assessment of future plans and operations, and, more particularly, statements concerning: the continued development of Willow’s FutureGrown™ CBG, and anticipated timing of GRAS status relating thereto; development and commercial production of FutureGrown™ Astaxanthin; the demand and market size potential of the synthetic ingredients industry; 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, 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, including FutureGrown™ CBG and FutureGrown™ Astaxanthin; 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 to differ from the Company’s expectations, including but not limited to: the 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; uncertainty of costs and expenses due to inflationary pressures; 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 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.
ny financial outlook and future-oriented financial information contained in this document regarding prospective financial performance, financial position, cash balances or revenue is based on assumptions about future events, including economic conditions and proposed courses of action based on management’s assessment of the relevant information that is currently available. Projected operational information contains forward-looking information and is based on a number of material assumptions and factors, as are set out above. These projections may also be considered to contain future-oriented financial information or a financial outlook. The actual results of the Company’s operations for any period will likely vary from the amounts set forth in these projections and such variations may be material. Actual results will vary from projected results. Readers are cautioned that any such financial outlook and future-oriented financial information contained herein should not be used for purposes other than those for which it is disclosed herein.
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.