Mr. David Shpilt reports
INTERNATIONAL CANNABIS, BIOTII AND Y COMBINATOR BACKED BIOTECH INNOVATOR TO BUILD BIOWORKS FOUNDRY
ICC International Cannabis Corp., alongside Biotii Technologies Corp., has entered into a design and automation agreement with Y combinator-backed Opentrons Labworks Inc. The companies will collaborate to architect and construct Canada's 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;
High performance analytics.
The completion of the companies' high-throughput bioworks foundry will catapult Biotii into an elite consortium of fewer than 20 laboratories worldwide equipped with the ability to automate genome assembly of multiple DNA fragments.
Opentrons's state-of-the-art OT-2 robot 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 of Opentrons's 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;
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, Mass. 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 with 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 (intellectual property) within the fast-developing biosynthesis market for cannabinoids.
The OT-2 will also enable Biotii to customize laboratory automation for maximum leverage of its engineering talent. The extensive library of standard protocols developed for the OT-2 provides a foundation upon which it can build a comprehensive automated pipeline from plasmid prep, to transfection and 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 pre-eminent 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 a continuously expanding set of modules, protocol and capabilities. Automation tools comparable with 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;
DNA normalization and quantification;
Nucleic acid purification;
Automated well filing;
Downstream mass spectrometry analysis;
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 chief product officer of Opentrons, said: "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 come up with to get the most out of the OT-2."
The company is also pleased to announce to appointment of Matthew Fish to its board of directors. Mr. Fish is a practising 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 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.
About ICC International Cannabis Corp.
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.
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