Ceapro Inc.
TSX VENTURE : CZO

Ceapro Inc.

April 18, 2016 07:35 ET

Ceapro Inc. Provides 2015 Business Highlights and 2016 Business Outlook

- Ceapro expects to commence clinical program with avenanthramides as anti-inflammatory compound before year end -

- Pilot clinical study to develop beta glucan as a cholesterol reducer expected to initiate in the third quarter of 2016 -

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - April 18, 2016) - Ceapro Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CZO) ("Ceapro" or the "Company"), a growth-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of active ingredients for healthcare and cosmetic industries, today provided a business update for the year ended December 31, 2015 and a 2016 business outlook.

Gilles Gagnon, M.Sc., MBA, President and CEO of Ceapro, stated, "Ceapro is poised for a transformational year in 2016 as we will expand our beta glucan and avenanthramides product portfolio into the profitable nutraceutical and pharmaceutical sectors. Not only do we anticipate top-line data from our beta glucan safety study and our avenanthramides bioavailability study, but we also plan to launch our first two clinical studies this year with these two important value drivers."

2015 Key Operational Highlights

  • Delivered the best financial year in Company's history showing record revenues, net profit and cash flows;
  • Expanded the Company's license agreement with University of Alberta to include worldwide rights to develop and commercialize PGX Technology in all industrial fields;
  • Signed a license agreement with ARRGO, for the continuity of a research project with flagship product, avenanthramides;
  • Received a funding contribution of $800,000 from Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions for the scale-up of the PGX Technology at the commercial and demonstration level;
  • Presented a highly successful company overview and the unique advantages of Ceapro's PGX drying technology platform at prestigious conferences (International Congress on Engineering and Food (ICEF) in Qubec City; 12th Annual BIO Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal; 2015 Composites at Lake Louise Conference in Alberta);
  • Appointed seasoned pharmaceutical executive, Dr. Ulrich Kosciessa, to Board of Directors;
  • Awarded a research grant from the National Research Council of Canada-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) for non-repayable funding contribution of up to a maximum of $350,000 for the design, implementation and testing of a demonstration skid for its proprietary PGX platform technology;
  • Utilized the Company's PGX platform to obtain favorable lab scale level results from biopolymer samples provided by numerous sources;
  • Advanced the strategic decision to redefine the scope of the construction of Ceapro's new 30,000 square-foot bio-processing extraction manufacturing facility in Edmonton, Alberta, to include an expanded production area specifically designed to house an ethanol recycling system and a commercial and demonstration scale PGX skid; and
  • Explored potential strategic alliances with multi-national companies related to the development of beta glucan as a nutraceutical as well as to the worldwide rights for PGX in all industrial applications.

2016 Key Operational Highlights to Date

  • Received issuance of a U.S. patent for Ceapro's unique and disruptive enabling Pressurized Gas Expanded (PGX) technology covering proprietary methods and use of micro- and nano-sized particles generated by applying PGX supercritical fluid technology;
  • Signed a Research Agreement with McMaster University for testing of materials using PGX Technology; and
  • Renewed a major distribution agreement with long-time partner, Symrise AG.

"Additionally, we believe our unique and disruptive enabling PGX technology will be another important part of the continued success of Ceapro," concluded Mr. Gagnon. "The opportunities for the PGX platform are almost endless. We fully expect this technology will expand our reach into additional high-value programs and facilitate beneficial strategic collaborations in a broad range of industrial applications."

Avenanthramides Update

Due to an enabling technology in-licensed from Agriculture Canada, Ceapro successfully produced three batches at the commercial level in its current facility for a next generation of avenanthramides extracted from malted oat. The Company has patents in both Canada and China for avenanthramides resulting from this enabling malting technology.

Ceapro is currently assessing avenanthramides in a bioavailability study with a U.S.-based university to compare low-dose and high-dose avenanthramides. The Company fully expects the bioavailability study to further demonstrate the efficacy of avenanthramides in alleviating exercise-induced inflammation as evidenced by a statistically significant decrease of inflammation biomarkers shown previously in published data from a study in elderly people. If additional positive trends are observed, Ceapro expects to commence its clinical program with avenanthramides as an anti-inflammatory compound before year end.

Beta Glucan Update

Following the successful impregnation study conducted at MIT, Ceapro has initiated a study with the University of Alberta for the development of a prototype functional drink whereby the Company has impregnated beta glucan with the well-known co-enzyme Q10 as an energy booster. Ceapro anticipates that the development of the prototype for a functional drink will be completed by the end of 2016.

The Company plans to initiate a pilot clinical study to develop beta glucan as a cholesterol reducer in the third quarter of 2016. Previously existing safety and toxicology studies demonstrate a positive safety profile for beta glucan applied in situ in more than 200,000 individuals from an industry partner currently commercializing beta glucan as a carrier in a urinary incontinence device. Ceapro will also conduct its own safety studies to assess high purity oral beta glucan during the second quarter of 2016.

PGX Research Programs Update

Ceapro is developing its in-licensed PGX enabling technology at the commercial scale level for all industries and all applications. The Company has been issued a U.S. patent covering proprietary methods and use of micro- and nano-sized particles generated by applying PGX supercritical fluid technology.

The Company has conducted encouraging lab scale research with PGX and analyzed biopolymer samples from commercially available starch, pectin, gums, alginate, and other polymers from various multi-national companies in a broad range of industries. Ceapro is evaluating potential collaborations and alliance opportunities with these companies.

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 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.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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