Vancouver, British Columbia – October 8, 2020 – Willow Biosciences Inc. ("Willow" or the "Company") (TSX: WLLW; OTCQX: CANSF) is pleased to announce that it has agreed to partner with researchers at the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary to study the therapeutic potential of non-psychoactive cannabinoids in relation to intestinal inflammation, abdominal pain and depression. These studies are financially supported by Alberta Innovates and involve laboratory testing in preclinical models of disease. To support the research, Willow will be providing four different, non-plant derived cannabinoids for use in the study, which is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The project's research team will be led by Dr. Aaron Gruber, associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge together with his postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Chelsea Matisz, and colleagues Drs. Keith Sharkey, professor and Christophe Altier, associate professor, in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine.
"Willow is excited to be supporting research on the effects of cannabinoids that could ultimately have an impact on human health" said Trevor Peters, Willow's Chief Executive Officer. "Dr. Gruber and his team of Alberta researchers are world renowned for their expertise in neuroscience, pain and the interplay between the gut, brain and endocannabinoid system, that is the target of action of non-psychoactive cannabinoids in the human body." Dr. Gruber, project leader, stated "Getting access to these compounds allows us to investigate their therapeutic potential, which opens new opportunities for future treatments for debilitating inflammatory conditions that impact the lives of thousands of Albertans."
Mr. Peters notes, "Supporting this team allows Willow to give back to the community and impactfully support the development of medical advancements. Simultaneously, the global market for minor and rare cannabinoids is still in its infancy, and to participate firsthand in a research initiative to better understand the potential positive effects helps position Willow as an industry leader. As the pharmaceutical industry grows in its understanding of cannabinoids as potential drug ingredients, Willow is working to position itself as the supplier of high purity ingredients for new potential drugs."
Willow's proprietary manufacturing technologies allow it to participate in this research program with minimal capital investment or deviation from its core product development activities.
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.
About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We provide technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, bringing together bright minds and great ideas.
Find out how Alberta Innovates: albertainnovates.ca
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, British Columbia, Canada 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: expected therapeutic benefits of Willow's portfolio cannabinoids; expected capital requirements of the research partnership; Willow's ability to capture market share; 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; 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.
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