Vancouver, British Columbia – January 13, 2021 – Willow Biosciences Inc. ("Willow" or the "Company") (TSX: WLLW; OTCQX: CANSF) is pleased to announce that it is undertaking two initiatives to help our customers evaluate and better understand cannabigerol ("CBG"), our first commercial cannabinoid slated for production in Q1 2021.
Willow has engaged Signum Biosciences, a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative consumer products, to generate a robust safety and data package for our CBG to demonstrate its safety and activity as a cosmetic ingredient. The Company has also engaged a world-renowned regulatory consulting group to perform a comprehensive safety assessment to independently conclude that our CBG is Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) for use as an ingredient in food and beverage products and support future novel food submissions in multiple jurisdictions.
"The work we are doing to study the safety and activity of CBG will help to separate us from the rest of the industry," said Trevor Peters, Willow's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We expect to supply our customers with highly pure product and provide them with the tools they need to create a diverse set of consumer products with CBG."
To support the above product development initiatives and further expand our knowledge of phytocannabinoids, the Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Mathias Schuetz to Vice President, Plant Science. Dr. Schuetz was previously Vice President, Research & Development. The Company is also pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Trish Choudhary to Vice President, Research & Development to lead our yeast strain engineering efforts. Dr. Choudhary has been with Willow since April 2019 in the role of Senior Director, Strain Engineering and has been overseeing the research and development efforts at our lab in Mountain View, California, since joining. Prior to joining Willow, Dr. Choudhary worked in senior leadership and technical roles at E-SEP Technologies and Codexis.
"Dr. Schuetz has been leading our cannabis plant research efforts with the goal of improving cannabinoid production in our yeast strains. His new title reflects his continued focus on the plant and the Company's commitment to developing our fermentation derived cannabinoids for consumer products. Dr. Choudhary has been the driving force behind our high throughout strain engineering efforts and is responsible for the rapid increases in performance we have achieved. She will be a valuable addition to our executive leadership team," said Dr. Chris Savile, Chief Operating Officer.
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
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 commercialization scale-up; the results and benefits of the Company's CBG safety initiatives; 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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