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Willow Biosciences Inc. (CSE: WLLW) Developing Biosynthesis Platform for Production of Low-Cost, Pharmaceutical-Grade CBD

  • A joint development agreement signed with Noramco Inc., the world’s largest producer of chemically synthesized cannabinoids and pharmaceutical APIs, is expected to scale the development of Willow’s CBD biosynthesis program
  • The collective market for CBD sales in the U.S. is expected to exceed $20 billion by 2024, while the cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals market may reach $50 billion by 2029
  • Synthetic biology is expected to disrupt the cannabinoid industry supply chain, providing access to new and larger markets for CBD and related compounds

Willow Biosciences Inc. (CSE: WLLW), a leading developer of biosynthetic production systems for high-value, plant-derived active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates, is pursuing the burgeoning CBD market with a world-class partner. Willow recently announced a joint development agreement (JDA) with Noramco Inc., a leading manufacturer of cannabinoids, to collaboratively develop a yeast-based biosynthesis platform for the production and distribution of cannabidiol (CBD) (http://nnw.fm/8YcLU).

The JDA is mutually exclusive and creates an enviable arrangement designed to take advantage of each company’s unique and compelling skillsets, the news release notes. The JDA requires each company to cover its own costs, retain its own intellectual property associated with its own scopes of work and share equally in the gross profits from sales of CBD produced under the agreement.

Together, Willow and Noramco will aim to address the increasing demand for CBD-based APIs and other CBD-infused products by pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, consumer packaged goods, beverages and other industry sectors.

“Noramco is a world-class organization with a long history of developing APIs across numerous markets and is the market leader in synthetically produced CBD,” Dr. Joseph Tucker, Willow’s executive chairman, said in a news release. “They are the obvious first choice as a partner to scale the development of our CBD biosynthesis program. Noramco’s global leadership in the production and sales of cannabinoids to pharmaceutical companies will naturally lead into manufacturing and sales into additional nonpharmaceutical markets.”

It’s a lucrative market that is generating ample analytical statistics for investors to consider. BDS Analytics forecasts that the collective market for CBD sales is expected to exceed $20 billion in the U.S. by 2024 (http://nnw.fm/b4JVY), stating in its report, “We’re witnessing CBD maturing from a cannabis sub-category into a full-blown industry of its own.”

Statista’s Research Department projects that the cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical market in the U.S. will soar from a mere $2 billion in 2020 to $50 billion by 2029 (http://nnw.fm/fseK3). As a technology platform, biosynthesis can provide a low-cost, ultrapure and scalable manufacturing solution for pharmaceutical, food, beverage and personal care consumers of CBD. The work conducted in the JDA between Willow and Noramco has the potential to open new and larger markets for CBD and related compounds.

“The addition of biosynthetic CBD production will augment Noramco’s ability to work with our existing customers and the capacity to address the rapidly increasing market demand for CBD-based APIs and ingredients from pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, consumer packaged goods, beverage and other industry sectors,” Bill Grubb, Noramco’s chief innovation officer and vice president of global business development, said in a news release. “We are excited to be working with the world class team at Willow and are confident in their ability to deliver scalable, CBD-producing strains to Noramco.”

Willow’s proprietary yeast-based lab strains produce CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabigerol (CBG), as well as certain minor and novel cannabinoids. Utilizing this proven synthetic biology platform, Willow’s research team has already begun producing cannabinoids at lab scale, using yeast as the host cell “factory.” This biosynthetic fermentation-based process is capable of producing pharmaceutical-grade CBD in 10 days – far less time than traditional plant-based extraction methods.

Willow believes that its technology can be scaled to produce hundreds of kilograms per batch of cannabinoid API at less than $1,000 per kilogram, thus costing approximately 60 percent less than current chemical synthesis methods and 90 percent less than conventional plant-based extraction methods.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.WillowBio.com

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to WLLW are available in the company’s newsroom at http://nnw.fm/WLLW

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