VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Willow Biosciences Inc. (“Willow” or the “Company”) (TSX: WLLW) (OTCQX: CANSF) is pleased to announce that it has successfully developed a scalable process for producing cannabigerol (“CBG”) with greater than 99% purity and no detectable THC and demonstrated production at 500 litre scale.
The Company previously announced that, in collaboration with its development partner, Albany Molecular Research, Inc., it had commenced a 500 litre pilot scale campaign. The Company now reports that the pilot campaign was a success and in addition to optimizing the production process using its proprietary yeast strain, the Company has developed a high-yielding downstream purification process that provides CBG with greater than 99% purity. This highly productive strain and simplified downstream process should enable manufacturing in smaller, capital-light, GMP-compliant fermentation production facilities, at a fraction of the cost and environmental footprint of plant cultivation and extraction.
“Achieving scalable production of pure CBG is a pivotal milestone for both Willow and our industry” said Trevor Peters, Willow’s Chief Executive Officer. “The market opportunity for high-purity cannabinoids manufactured under GMP control is expected to be in the billions of dollars in the coming years, and as the first company to successfully produce product samples, Willow is poised to capture a sizable portion of that market. We anticipate being able to begin commercialization of CBG in the first half of 2021 and are currently selecting manufacturing partners to assist us in reaching both local and worldwide markets.”
Willow expects to deliver samples of its produced CBG to prospective partners in the coming weeks and has seen initial demand for samples from Canada, United States, Brazil, Europe, Australia and South East Asia. Demand is evident from all segments of the consumers packaged goods industry including nutraceuticals, food and beverage, personal care and over-the-counter medicine. Providing Willow’s prospective partners with high purity samples from its pilot production run is the most significant hurdle before entering into commercial agreements.
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, the Company believes 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.
An updated corporate presentation is available on the Company’s website at www.willowbio.com.
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.