CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII), a leader in tobacco harm reduction, announced today an important new initiative in plant biotechnology: 22nd Century has entered into a new cannabis research collaboration with strategic partner Anandia Laboratories, Inc. (Anandia), based in Vancouver, Canada. As a part of this research collaboration, Anandia will develop and grow cannabis strains that express highly desirable characteristics and will lead to exciting commercialization opportunities. Dr. Paul Rushton, 22nd Century’s new Vice President of Plant Biotechnology, will have responsibility for this partnership with Anandia.
The Company last year announced that Botanical Genetics, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of 22nd Century Group) entered into a worldwide license agreement with Anandia that granted exclusive rights to 22nd Century in the United States to four genes required for cannabinoid production in the cannabis plant. The license also granted 22nd Century co-exclusive rights with Anandia to this proprietary technology in all countries outside of the U.S. and Canada. Anandia retained exclusive rights in Canada.
The proprietary technology licensed from Anandia allows for the development of cannabis strains that demonstrate either an increase or decrease in the production and content of all, or certain subsets of, cannabinoids. The long-term goals of the Company’s research activities relating to cannabis are to develop, protect and commercially produce unique cannabis plant varieties that include high levels of non-THC cannabinoids, such as CBD, for the legal medical marijuana markets, as well as virtually cannabinoid-free cannabis for the commercial hemp industry.
Jonathan Page, Ph.D., Co-Founder, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of Anandia – and the inventor of some of 22nd Century’s powerful transcription factor technology in the tobacco plant – is an internationally-recognized pioneer and leader in cannabis science who co-led the team that first sequenced the cannabis genome and has made fundamental discoveries about cannabinoid biosynthesis. Applying Dr. Page’s expertise and Anandia’s patented technology, the Anandia team will use modern plant breeding approaches and genomics to create next-generation cannabis strains.
Dr. Page stated, “Anandia benefits from an excellent relationship with 22nd Century and we are excited to be expanding our relationship through this research collaboration aimed at creating unique cannabis strains with highly desirable traits that can be commercialized quickly.”
Henry Sicignano, III, President and CEO of 22nd Century explained, “In much the same way that we enjoy a monopoly on the nicotinic biosynthetic pathway of tobacco, our license agreement and research activities with Anandia will facilitate 22nd Century’s control of the cannabinoid biosynthetic pathway in cannabis throughout the U.S. market.” Mr. Sicignano continued, “Though not directly related to our main tobacco businesses, the exclusivity in, and control of, ‘next generation cannabis strains’ could ultimately be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to 22nd Century.”
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology that allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s primary mission is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. 22nd Century currently owns or exclusively controls more than 185 issued patents and more than 50 pending patent applications around the world. The Company’s strong IP position led to a licensing agreement with British American Tobacco (“BAT”), the world’s second largest tobacco company. Visit www.xxiicentury.com for more information.
About Anandia Laboratories Inc.
Anandia Laboratories, Inc. is the emerging leader in cannabis genetics and variety improvement. Building on the pioneering research of Co-Founder Dr. Jonathan Page and utilizing its world-leading intellectual property position, Anandia is applying modern plant breeding approaches and genomics to create next-generation cannabis strains optimized to address grower and consumer challenges. Anandia also continues to contribute to the evolution of the cannabis industry by helping partners through shared knowledge, analytical testing, and genomic analysis services. Visit www.anandialabs.com for more information.
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