EDMONTON, ALBERTA – March 1, 2016 – Ceapro Inc. (TSX-V: CZO) (“Ceapro” or the “Company”), a growth-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of active ingredients for healthcare and cosmetic industries, announced today that the Company will initiate an extensive research program in collaboration with McMaster University to develop novel chemistries for stabilizing Ceapro’s Pressurized Gas eXpanded (PGX) derived products.
Professors Todd Hoare and David Latulippe from the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University have been awarded a $370,300 research grant from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to support this strategic research collaboration.
This strategic research project is a three-year agreement and will contribute to the training in applied research of three doctorate-level students as well as two undergraduate students per year. The study will focus on the development and application of highly tunable porous biopolymer and smart polymer scaffolds using Ceapro’s PGX technology.
Gilles Gagnon, M.Sc., MBA, President and CEO of Ceapro, stated, “The PGX research project with McMaster University is perfectly aligned with our expressed vision to strategically position Ceapro as a “green” company as well as our desire to expand the applications for our PGX technology.”
Mr. Gagnon added, “The successful completion of this research will offer significant economic, environmental and health benefits. Due to the expected outcomes of this project, we anticipate being able to generate more exports of Ceapro’s products, while significantly developing an industrial sector. In expanding our partnership network with universities, we unreservedly support this NSERC Strategic Grant and look forward to building a long-term relationship with Todd Hoare and David Latulippe from the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University.”
Given the significant potential to both develop and expand the utility of PGX Technology and open new market opportunities through proof-of-concept demonstrations of innovative application of the PGX material, Ceapro will provide in-kind financial support to match the award received by McMaster University.
Ceapro anticipates that the strategic research collaboration with McMaster University will commence in the first half of 2016 and will remain active for three years. The study aims to develop novel chemistries for stabilizing PGX-derived products based on both sustainable biopolymers and “smart” environmentally-responsive polymers that change properties in response to an environmental stimulus, which is temperature in this instance. These novel chemistries will then be leveraged by the combined expertise of the Hoare lab in bioactives delivery and tissue engineering and the Latulippe lab in bioseparations and environmental adsorption technologies to apply these stabilized porous constructs to improve delivery of drugs and agricultural chemicals, generate 3D cell scaffolds maintaining high cell viability, generate low-cost alternatives for purification of antibodies and viruses, improve methods of removing heavy metal ions from industrial waste water, and enhance the capture of carbon dioxide from polluted air.
One of the key driving features of the materials design in this proposal is to expand the use of renewable biopolymers (starch, pectin, chitosan and crystalline nanocellulose) as scaffolding materials.
Over the last 10 years, NSERC has invested more than $7 billion in basic research, projects involving partnerships between postsecondary institutions and industry, and the training of Canada’s next generation of scientists and engineers.
About Pressurized Gas eXpanded Liquid Technology (PGX)
PGX is a unique and disruptive technology with several key advantages over conventional drying and purification technologies that can be used to process biopolymers into high-value, nano-sized polymer structures and novel bio-nanocomposites. PGX is ideally suited for processing challenging high-molecular-weight, water-soluble biopolymers. It has the ability to make ultra-light, highly porous polymer structures on a continuous basis, which is not possible using today’s conventional technologies. PGX was co-invented by Ceapro researcher Dr. Bernhard Seifried and University of Alberta professor, Dr. Feral Temelli.
About McMaster University
McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 175,000 alumni in 140 countries.
About The National Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC)
NSERC invests over $1 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries, valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors, world-leading researchers in their fields. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform R&D, solve scale-up challenges and reduce the risks of developing high-potential technology.
Our investments provide scholarships and hands-on training experience for the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada, more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows.
About Ceapro Inc.
Ceapro Inc. is a Canadian biotechnology company involved in the development of proprietary extraction technology and the application of this technology to the production of extracts and “active ingredients” from oats and other renewable plant resources. Ceapro adds further value to its extracts by supporting their use in cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and therapeutics products for humans and animals. The Company has a broad range of expertise in natural product chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology and process engineering. These skills merge in the fields of active ingredients, biopharmaceuticals and drug-delivery solutions. For more information on Ceapro, please visit the Company’s website at www.ceapro.com.
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Source: Ceapro Inc.