Vancouver, British Columbia – March 31, 2021 – Willow Biosciences Inc. ("Willow" or the "Company") (TSX: WLLW; OTCQX: CANSF) is pleased to announce that it has completed the first commercial scale fermentation run of its first cannabinoid for market, cannabigerol ("CBG").
"We are very pleased with the yield and quality of our first commercial scale fermentation run of CBG," said Trevor Peters, Willow's President and Chief Executive Officer. "I think it is important to take a moment to reflect on all that we have achieved in just under two years as a public company. In this time, we built a world class industrial R&D team, demonstrated proof of concept for production of cannabinoids through fermentation, attracted reputable development partners like Albany Molecular Research, Inc., and produced our first commercial scale batch of CBG. On the capital markets side, we have completed three successful financings bringing in supportive and sophisticated shareholders who have provided us with a healthy balance sheet to execute on our business plan. We are now starting the next phase of Willow's lifecycle, which will involve supplying commercial quantities of cannabinoids to customers and recognizing revenue therefrom."
In December 2020 the Company announced that it had selected a highly regarded contract manufacturing organization ("CMO") to commercially produce Willow's CBG at their European facilities. Since that time, Willow has tech-transferred its proprietary yeast strain and process to the CMO's facilities and run multiple pilot production batches to further optimize the process and provide additional samples of CBG to prospective customers. Our process continues to provide high-purity CBG with no detectable tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or any other cannabinoids. Production from our first commercial fermentation run is earmarked for sale to prospective customers and the Company is in the process of finalizing agreements with multiple parties. Willow will continue production with its CMO throughout 2021 to meet anticipated demand of our ultra-pure CBG.
Willow plans to be a market leader in providing ultra-pure, sustainably produced cannabinoids to the world, and procuring third party safety and activity data on our products is an important and necessary step to achieve that goal. Since October of last year, the Company has been working with Signum Biosciences, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative consumer products, in order to demonstrate the safety and activity of Willow's CBG as a cosmetic ingredient. Preliminary data has shown that Willow's CBG is safe and can act as a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial in skin applications. The Company will provide a more detailed update on these exciting results once the clinical work is complete.
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; discussions with consumer-packaged goods entities, manufacturing partners and other key stakeholders, including the successful negotiation of supply agreements with potential customers; the market size potential of the synthetic cannabinoid industry and Willow's ability to capture market share; demand for Willow's products; the safety and efficacy of Willow's CBG, including the results of Signum Bioscience Inc.'s clinical testing on Willow's CBG; 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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