EDMONTON, Alberta – Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NASDAQ: ACB) (TSX: ACB) (“Aurora”), the Canadian company defining the future of cannabinoids worldwide, together with 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: XXII) (“22nd Century”) announced today a three-way non-exclusive agreement to license biosynthesis intellectual property to Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) (“Cronos Group”), intended to assist in the advancement of research and development on the biosynthesis of cannabinoids.
Biosynthesis, a process common in the pharmaceutical industry, involves using living micro-organisms to convert simple substances into complex compounds. Through biosynthesis, cannabinoids, particularly those that are rare such as cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabinol (CBN), are expected to be produced efficiently and reliably at high levels of purity.
“We are deeply interested in the evolution of cannabinoids, and this is a promising step toward the commercialization of cannabinoid products using biosynthesis,” says Miguel Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. “The long-term potential for rare cannabinoid molecules produced through biosynthesis is incredibly promising given their efficient production methods, and potential therapeutic benefits and utility in health, wellness, and consumer products.”
Aurora’s connection to the biosynthetic production of cannabinoids originated with early work carried out by the Company’s former Chief Science Officer on the discovery of key genes within the cannabinoid biosynthesis pathway.
“This license combines the resources and intellectual property of all three companies in this agreement intended to facilitate the commercial success of a biosynthetic approach, which complements the disruptive plant-based advancements 22nd Century and Aurora continue to develop to bring more consistent and higher yields to the hemp and cannabis industry,” said James A. Mish, Chief Executive Officer of 22nd Century Group. “We believe that the availability of both plant-based and biosynthetic cannabinoids will be important to the commercial success of our industry, and this agreement positions 22nd Century, Aurora and Cronos Group with an important role in each approach.”
“Cronos Group has successfully commercialized the first cultured cannabinoid product in Canada. Licensing this intellectual property provides us with a component of the process that could allow for increased speed and efficiency in the development and commercialization of cultured cannabinoids,” said Kurt Schmidt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cronos Group.
Through licensing agreements, Aurora and 22nd Century Group together share the global IP rights to commercialize key aspects of cannabinoid biosynthesis in plants and micro-organisms. The two companies are working closely to enforce their IP against infringing parties, as well as to actively explore commercial development opportunities.
Aurora is a global leader in the cannabis industry, serving both the medical and consumer markets. Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Aurora is a pioneer in global cannabis dedicated to helping people improve their lives. The Company’s brand portfolio includes Aurora, Aurora Drift, San Rafael ’71, Daily Special, MedReleaf, CanniMed, Pedanios, Whistler Cannabis Co., Reliva and KG7 CBD. Driven by science and innovation, and with a focus on high-quality cannabis products, Aurora’s brands continue to break through as industry leaders in the medical, performance, wellness and adult recreational markets wherever they are launched. Learn more at www.auroramj.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Aurora’s common shares trade on the TSX and NASDAQ under the symbol “ACB” and is a constituent of the S&P/TSX Composite Index.
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII) is a leading agricultural biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco and improving health and wellness through plant science. With dozens of patents allowing it to control nicotine biosynthesis in the tobacco plant, the Company has developed proprietary reduced nicotine content (RNC) tobacco plants and cigarettes, which have become the cornerstone of the FDA’s Comprehensive Plan to address the widespread death and disease caused by smoking. In tobacco, hemp/cannabis, and hop plants, 22nd Century uses modern plant breeding technologies, including genetic engineering, gene-editing, and molecular breeding to deliver solutions for the life science and consumer products industries by creating new, proprietary plants with optimized alkaloid and flavonoid profiles as well as improved yields and valuable agronomic traits.
About Cronos Group Inc.
Cronos Group is an innovative global cannabinoid company with international production and distribution across five continents. Cronos Group is committed to building disruptive intellectual property by advancing cannabis research, technology and product development. With a passion to responsibly elevate the consumer experience, Cronos Group is building an iconic brand portfolio. Cronos Group’s portfolio includes PEACE NATURALS™, a global wellness platform, two adult-use brands, COVE™ and Spinach™, and three U.S. hemp-derived CBD brands, Lord Jones™, Happy Dance™ and PEACE+™. For more information about Cronos Group and its brands, please visit: thecronosgroup.com.