Willow Biosciences Inc. has undertaken two initiatives to improve the understanding of cannabigerol (CBG), the company’s first commercial cannabinoid slated for production in the first quarter of 2021.
Willow has tapped Signum Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative consumer products, to generate a robust safety and data package for the company’s CBG to demonstrate its safety and activity as a cosmetic ingredient.
Willow has also engaged a regulatory consulting group to perform a comprehensive safety assessment to independently conclude that its CBG is Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) for use as an ingredient in food and beverage products and support future novel food submissions in multiple jurisdictions.
"The work we are doing to study the safety and activity of CBG will help to separate us from the rest of the industry," said Trevor Peters, Willow's president and CEO. "We expect to supply our customers with highly pure product and provide them with the tools they need to create a diverse set of consumer products with CBG."
To support the above product development initiatives and further expand our knowledge of phytocannabinoids, Willow has appointed Dr. Mathias Schuetz to vice president, plant science. Schuetz was previously vice president, research and development.
Willow has also promoted Dr. Trish Choudhary to vice president, research and development, to lead its yeast strain engineering efforts. Choudhary has been with Willow since April 2019 in the role of senior director, strain engineering, and has been overseeing the research and development efforts at the company’s lab in Mountain View, California, since joining. Prior to joining Willow, Choudhary worked in senior leadership and technical roles at E-SEP Technologies and Codexis.
"Dr. Schuetz has been leading our cannabis plant research efforts with the goal of improving cannabinoid production in our yeast strains,” said COO Dr. Chris Savile. “His new title reflects his continued focus on the plant and the company's commitment to developing our fermentation derived cannabinoids for consumer products. Dr. Choudhary has been the driving force behind our high throughout strain engineering efforts and is responsible for the rapid increases in performance we have achieved. She will be a valuable addition to our executive leadership team."