Willow Biosciences Inc (TSX:WLLW) (OTCQX:CANSF) announced Monday that it has successfully developed a scalable process for producing cannabigerol (CBG) with greater than 99% purity and no detectable THC with demonstrated production at 500-litre scale.
The Vancouver-based company previously announced that, in collaboration with its development partner Albany Molecular Research Inc, it had commenced a 500-litre pilot-scale campaign.
Willow said it 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.
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Willow noted that 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 CEO Trevor Peters in a statement.
"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 said it expects to deliver samples of its produced CBG to prospective partners in the coming weeks and has seen initial demand for samples from Canada, the US, 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, according to the company. 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 said it 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.
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