EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 21, 2010) - Ceapro Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CZO) ("Ceapro" or the "Corporation") is pleased to announce today that it has entered into a Research and Development collaboration agreement with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) as part of its expansion plan. As announced during a Press Conference held this afternoon along with Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Honourable Gary Goodyear, the project will be undertaken at the NRC Institute for Nutrisciences and Health (INH) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Under the initial collaboration agreement between the parties, several studies are expected to be completed over the next year on Ceapro's core ingredients including avenanthramides, beta glucan, and peptides.
Under this agreement Ceapro will work with the NRC-INH in Charlottetown PEI to complete several in vitro and ex vivo assays on the current suite of Ceapro products as well as prototype samples of new products. These state of the art bio-assays will provide valuable data to support the sales and marketing of Ceapro products. "This is an exciting time for Ceapro and we expect to have completed these assays over the next year", said David Fielder, Chief Scientific Officer of Ceapro. "Several of these assays will target new high value therapeutic indications that can greatly enhance the value of our products and we are very excited to be part of this collaboration", he added. Innovation PEI is supporting this collaboration with a repayable contribution of $100,000 and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is providing a non repayable contribution of $50,000. Ceapro has leased lab space in the NRC-INH facility in support of this collaboration and future product development work.
Ceapro Inc is also pleased to provide an update on additional corporate and R&D activities. "Over the last several months we have been working very hard to lay the foundation for future growth", said Gilles Gagnon, acting CEO of Ceapro. "I am pleased to announce following progresses on several fronts today".
Ceapro has recently begun early stage product development work to examine the use of supercritical extraction technology to produce existing and new products as well as the subsequent downstream purification of avenanthramides utilizing other technologies. The preliminary work evaluating optimum extraction conditions for this project will be done in Edmonton at Ceapro's lab where Ceapro will perform trials utilizing a pilot scale supercritical unit. Ceapro will further scale up the results and evaluate the subsequent downstream extraction of avenanthramides at the Food Technology Centre in Charlottetown. Ceapro has received approval for a non-repayable contribution of up to $99,900 for this project.
Following some preliminary growing trials of its exclusively licensed spearmint variety in Southern Alberta, Ceapro has expanded growing trials to three other sites, two locations in Ontario and one in Prince Edward Island. The active ingredients from this unique plant are expected to target multiple high value segments in the personal care and cosmeceutical markets. These growing trials will give Ceapro access to professional agronomy expertise to complement its core expertise in the extraction, purification, and commercialization of active ingredients.
Ceapro has begun formulating and testing its second generation products with a new all natural preservative as well as increased potency of the active components. This would allow Ceapro to have a new line of products for the all natural segment, reduce packaging and shipping costs, as well as provide new market opportunities. "The market has told us there is a huge unmet demand for new natural preservatives and products that use them", said David Fielder.
Ceapro has been reviewing options for the sales and marketing of its products and has been in discussions with multiple parties over the last several months who are interested in working with Ceapro and Ceapro products. "Our goal is to get significant global exposure for our products and we are currently assessing numerous alternatives to reach that goal", said Gilles Gagnon. "We will announce any agreements in this regard as they are consummated".
"As you can see our small team of employees have worked very hard to get to this stage and all of the activities are now focused on growth", said Gilles Gagnon. "Before we could get to that stage we had to stop the decline which commenced in 2007 and 2008 and stabilize operations in 2009. We wish to thank our employees, shareholders, and stakeholders for their support while we work toward generating significant shareholder value".
About Ceapro Inc.
Ceapro Inc. is a Canadian growth-stage biotechnology company. Primary business activities relate to the development and commercialization of natural products for personal care and cosmetic industries using proprietary technology and natural, renewable resources. The commercial line of natural active ingredients include beta glucan, avenanthamides (colloidal oat extract), oat powder, oat oil, oat peptides, and lupin peptides.
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