VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ICC International Cannabis Corp. (CSE:WRLD.U) (8K51.F) (WLDCF) ("ICC" or “International Cannabis” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Company, alongside Biotii Technologies Corp. (“Biotii”) has entered into a design and automation agreement (the “Agreement”) with Y Combinator backed Opentrons Labworks Inc. (“Opentrons”). The Companies will collaborate to architect and construct Canada’ first privately owned high-throughput Bioworks Foundry.
The Bioworks Foundry will function as a staging ground for Biotii’s cannabinoid researchers and organism designers to manufacture and analyze prototype enzyme pathways. The state-of-the-art facility will afford International Cannabis and Biotii the ability to scale its synthesized cannabinoid testing processes in a rapid and cost effective fashion, by leveraging:
- Advanced DNA assembly protocols;
- Laboratory automation; and,
- High performance analytics
The completion of the Companies’ high-throughput Bioworks Foundry will catapult Biotii into an elite consortium of less than 20 laboratories worldwide equipped with the ability to automate genome assembly of multiple DNA fragments.
Opentrons’ state-of-the-art OT-2 Robot (the “OT-2”) will provide Biotii with unbridled access to a proven molecular biology platform, furnished with hundreds of existing protocols and over 5,400 software commits from a diverse community of researchers; including leading teams from Stanford University and the Mayo Clinic.
Bolstered by the continued financial backing of ICC, coupled with the integration Opentrons’ advanced operational/engineering frameworks into the planned Bioworks Foundry, the Biotii team remains steadfast to its 2020 mandate cannabinoid production in quantities of hundreds of metric tonnes per annum, boasting:
- Stable and consistent yields;
- Pharmaceutical-grade purities; and,
- Lowest production costs in the space
On April 4, 2019, International Cannabis announced a strategic investment into Biotii, a leading private biotechnology company based in Boston, Massachusetts. Biotii's scalable synthesizing processes will enable the manufacture of a wide range of cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”) at significantly lower costs comparative to conventional cultivation and extraction processes.
Opentrons platform affords Biotii access to the initial technology and laboratory infrastructure necessary for the architecture of its automated, high-throughput Bioworks Foundry. It is anticipated that the Bioworks Foundry will accelerate the Companies’ cannabinoid research and development capabilities, thereby capturing significant IP within the fast-developing biosynthesis market for cannabinoids.
The OT-2 will also enable Biotii to customize laboratory automation for maximum leverage of our engineering talent. The extensive library of standard protocols developed for the OT-2 provides a foundation upon which we can build a comprehensive automated pipeline from plasmid prep, to transfection, fermentation, and to target molecule samples.
David Shpilt, Chief Executive Officer of International Cannabis stated: “Within the sphere of biological engineering living organisms are the foundational factories by which revolutionary products are devised. Designing preeminent synthetic cannabinoids requires a different category of factory, one where best-in-class tools in automation, analytics, and software can all function in symbiotic fashion. The Companies’ automated Bioworks Foundry will permit efficient scaling of organism design, thereby allowing engineers to expedite the prototyping of thousands of unique biological designs.
Opentrons presents a flexible platform and supports a growing community of users, providing ICC and Biotti with access to continuously expanding set of modules, protocol, and capabilities. Automation tools comparable to the Opentrons OT-2 Robot enable the execution of complex, repetitive task-loads that cannot be replicated by traditional human laboratory staff. The OT-2, for example, can run four times as many experiments in the same sized plate, and efficiently dispense liquids with precision in much less time.”
Dr. John Harrold, Biotii’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder stated: “With Opentrons, we are ready to start building our revolutionary Bioworks Foundry. We have the flexibility to develop whatever automated processes we want, even, and especially, if the manufacturer hasn't thought of it yet. This will give Biotii and ICC the advantage in developing not only our target products faster, but also the tools to produce subsequent targets more efficiently.”
The OT-2 Robot system provides Biotii the flexibility to build additional protocols, which can be subsequently adapted for novel applications, beyond even the “factory-installed” broad set, including:
- PCR sample prep;
- Nucleic acid purification;
- NGS library prep;
- Automated pipetting;
- DNA normalization and quantification;
- Nucleic acid purification;
- Automated well filing;
- Plate mapping;
- Downstream mass spectrometry analysis; and
- SDS reducing gels
ICC and Biotii recognize that the OT-2 makes the automation of individual tasks available at economics that would be prohibitive with alternatives. Biotii can leverage precision of the OT-2 to complete tasks that would have been performed manually. This is especially critical for standardizing analysis of cannabinoid products during the experimental phase.
Will Canine, Co-Founder and CPO of Opentrons: "I am happy to start our relationship with Biotii and ICC. At Opentrons, we strive to empower innovation by companies like Biotii and ICC. I am excited to see what new uses Biotii's engineers will be come up with to get the most out of the OT-2."
The Company is also pleased to announce to appointment of Mr. Matthew Fish to its board of directors. Mr. Fish is a practicing securities and corporate litigation lawyer focused on the technology and resource sectors. In his private practice, he has developed extensive experience with respect to public companies, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and other facets fundamental to the natural resources, technology, and cannabis industries. Mr. Fish has served as director and officer of several publicly held companies and acts as director and general counsel for other privately held companies.
International Cannabis also announces the resignation of Mr. Kent Ashburn from the Company’s board of directors. The Company would like to sincerely thank Mr. Ashburn for his many years of services to date and wishes him the best of luck with his future endeavours.
Opentrons is making automation accessible for any lab, starting with affordable pipetting robots for biologists. With its easy-to-use hardware and an open software platform, Opentrons automates manual lab work and empowers collaborative research for life scientists. Opentrons is used by scientists at 70 percent of top 10 largest pharma companies and 90 percent of top 50 biology research Universities, and is backed by Khosla Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Y Combinator Continuity Fund.
Biotii Technologies Corp. strives to genetically engineer microorganisms to produce cannabinoids identical to those found in nature, while meeting both the standards of the current cannabis industry and the more demanding standards demanded by the consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical companies – all at a small fraction of the cost of current producers. The Biotii team is comprised of scientists trained at Harvard, MIT, Rutgers, University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL CANNABIS
ICC International Cannabis, through its subsidiaries, has operating assets and is developing a world-class platform for cultivation, extraction, formulation and distribution across the globe in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, South Africa and Lesotho.
ON BEHALF OF THE ICC INTERNATIONAL CANNABIS CORP BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chief Executive Officer
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Notice Regarding Forward Looking Information:
This news release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "continue", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "potential", "proposed" and other similar words, or information that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. This information is only a prediction. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking information throughout this news release. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to: political changes in Canada and internationally, future legislative and regulatory developments involving cannabis in Canada and internationally, the Company’s ability to secure distribution channels in international jurisdictions, competition and other risks affecting the Company in particular and the cannabis industry generally.
The forward-looking information contained in this release is expressly qualified by the foregoing cautionary statements and is made as of the date of this release. Except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, or otherwise.